The Memorial Window to Freedom

On December 31 of 1947 Mrs. J. Alex McLeod unveiled the Memorial to Freedom window which was dedicated by the Very Reverend Norman Kennedy to the Glory of God and in grateful memory of all the boys and men who gave their lives during the Second World War (1939 – 1945).

Early in 1947, the Session of First Presbyterian Church appointed a War Memorial Committee who recommended that this memorial take the form of a stained glass window inscribed with the names of all the boys and men from First Presbyterian Church who died during this conflict.

The window was designed and constructed by Douglas Hamilton of the Webster Adams Studio in Glasgow, Scotland.


The Left Window portrays entwined maple leaves in the top section, symbol of Canada, with the biblical inscription in the arch of the window reading: “Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends”. In the middle of the window, the story of David and Jonathon is depicted, where Jonathon’s father, King Saul, is trying to kill David, but his friend, at great personal danger and sacrifice to himself, warns David and saves his life.

A biblical reference from the Gospel of John 15: v 12 – 15 where Jesus speaks to his disciples in the upper room and instructs them: “This is my commandment; love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this that a man lay down his life for his friends”.

The Right Window portrays the burning bush in the top section, symbol of the Presbyterian Church, with the biblical inscription in the arch reading: “Is not this the blood of men who went in jeopardy of their lives.” 2 Samuel 23: v 16 – 17.

The depiction is of the story of David leading his army against the Philistines, and during this skirmish, of David’s longing for a drink of fresh cool water from the community well in Bethlehem rather than the stale water provided to the soldiers in the army. The biblical quote states: “At this time the heroic three made their way through the Philistine lines and drew water from the well by the gate of Bethlehem and brought it to David to drink. But David refused to drink it: he poured it out to the Lord and said: “God forbid that I should do such a thing! Can I drink the blood of these men who risked their lives for it?”

The comment here is about subject of stewardship. This congregation’s members and Canadians in general have been provided with so many things at such a terrible risk and cost as to make it impossible for us to anything else with them but to pour them out as a fitting sacrifice to God. Countless lives have been lost to bring us the freedom and comfort we have, and to keep these freedoms from being arbitrarily snatched away.

Such is the gift of those whose names are inscribed on this window, and on our Honour Roll. We must not forget, we must never forget, the price in human lives that has been exacted for our freedom.

Names Inscribed on the windows:

  • John L. Blair
  • John G. Garner
  • Bruce A. Grant
  • Robert G. Grant
  • William Hodgson
  • George P. Johnstone
  • William C. MacDonald
  • Douglas Hamilton (Korea)
  • Donald G. McLeod
  • James Norman McLeod
  • James H. McMaster
  • Ian Edgar MacPherson
  • David B. McGregor
  • Alex B. McGregor
  • John Alpine MacGregor
  • William J. MacRae
  • Frank J. Scrimes
  • Robert G. Shinnan
  • Jerrold Alpine Smith
  • John Vallance
  • Ross McRae Wilson
  • G. MacBeth Young
Lest We Forget

**More Detailed Information about these fallen soldiers, sailors and airmen can be found in David Marshall’s book Stained Glass Name which can be acquired from the church office.