Last Sunday, St John’s Church in Jedburgh held a service of dedication of a memorial to those from the church who died in the First World War.
The church was transformed with beautiful flower arrangements created to complement the colours of the vestments used by clergy throughout the church year.
This was the background for a memorable day as the Rector, the Reverend David Dalglish, welcomed the Bishop of Edinburgh, the Right Reverend John Armes and a large congregation for the service.
Also in attendance were Colonel Colin Hogg as a Trustee of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers together with Shaun Carroll, Vice Chairman and Andrew Spratt, Standard Bearer, both of the Royal British Legion Scotland (RBLS), Jedburgh. Also present was Professor Sandy Davison, the Chairman of the Lady Haig Poppy Factory who had earlier presented the large cross and poppies displayed beneath the memorial.
Every poppy had been put in place by the young members of ‘Messy Church’.
The dedication of the memorial was marked by the lowering of the standard and a minute’s silence before the procession moved off to dedicate the refurbished Second World War memorial, part of which is marked by the new altar rail commemorating those who died in the Second World War.
During both ceremonies the names of those who had sacrificed their lives were read. The Bishop then gave a moving sermon, having researched the background of those who had died; he spoke of where they had lived in Jedburgh, their ages, occupations and parents.
Amongst the congregation were the Hon. Moira and Fiona Campbell whose grandfather John Beresford Campbell DSO and uncle Donald Campbell of Hartrigge are amongst those named on the memorial.
In total St John’s lost 18 men, an incredible number considering it was very much the minority church in the town. The absence of any memorial had concerned the present Vestry who had been determined to put right this grave injustice to 18 brave men, and who had been anxious to have the memorial in place in the time for the centennial next year of the start of the Great War.
Barbara Dalglish, in researching the records, found that on one single day, St John’s had lost three men.
On the 25 of September 1915, James Lunn of the KOSB; James Scott of the Seaforth Highlanders and William Crozier, KOSB all fell in the line of duty. Incredibly both Crozier and Scott had both served as gardeners on the Hartrigge Estate, an estate which not only lost its master but also his heir in the conflict.
The service was the culmination of the three-day Flower Festival which had been held to raise money for Poppy Scotland and the church and was followed by lunch in the church centre.
St John’s continued to follow the founding principle of the church in that local tradesmen are employed wherever possible.
The memorial and altar rail were made by Ewan Redpath and his team at Runciman and Redpath, and the lettering on both memorials was carried out by Ian Lees, Painter and Signwriter.
The Vestry would like to trace any descendants of those commemorated, namely William Crozier, William Haig, David Hope, James Lunn, James Storrie – all of the KOSB, Charles James Martin, RNVR – James Scott , James Thomson, John Hilson, John Poulter Oliver, Seaforth Highlanders – William Henderson, James Gray, Gordon Highlanders – William Delby Middlemis, Ontario Regiment – Andrew P Swanston, Black Watch – Walder Brunton, Cameron Highlanders and George Cairns, RoyalScots. Contact can be made with the Rector on 01835 863901.
Later in the afternoon the day was brought to an end with a large congregation enjoying a service of Songs of Praise led by the resident organist Ted Ferguson, assisted by Isobel Portch and Claire Nicolson playing the flute.
The Rector finally thanked all the flower arrangers from both the congregation and from other churches, as well as Joan Bennet and Joan Stafford Badger who had masterminded the Flower Festival, before presenting them with pieces of handmade woodwork donated by Stephen McLachlan.