Warden Children Memorial Window

In March 1935 one of the elders of St Giles’, Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert Warden, and his wife Jessie asked permission to place in the chancel clerestory, close to the then Chapel of Youth, a stained glass window in memory of those of their children who had died. A solicitor in the Scottish Supreme Courts, Warden had interrupted his legal career when the First World War broke out, serving with the 16th Battalion, The Royal Scots and then the East Surrey Regiment. In 1918 he was awarded the D.S.O. and bar and then in 1924, as Director of Pensions for Scotland, a C.B.E.Peter Backhouse-0050-2

Married in 1904, he and Jessie originally had a family of six. Their first and last daughters, Rose and Daphne, were still alive in 1935, but their elder son James had been premature and lived for only two days, their daughter Dorothy died of convulsions at four months and their younger son Francis (Dorothy’s twin) passed away from meningitis when he was ten. By a sad coincidence, their third daughter, Evelyn, reached the age of 24, but then she too died of meningitis.

The commemorative window was dedicated on 8 April 1936 at a well-attended special service. Designed by the famous stained glass artist Douglas Strachan, its theme is the courage, beauty and gentleness of youth, with the Archangels Raphael and Michael surrounded by children and symbolising these qualities.

Lieutenant Colonel Warden died suddenly in 1946 but, on a happier note, his two surviving daughters were both married in St Giles’, Daphne in 1943 aged 23 and Rose in 1954, at the age of 47.