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Remembrance Day wreath stolen at historic St Giles cairn

Remembrance Day wreath stolen at historic St Giles cairn

On the 99th anniversary of the erection of a cairn memorializing the nine members of the St. Giles Church congregation who died in World War l the Friends of St Giles who are attempting to save the historic building from demolition, placed a wreath at a memorial cairn outside the church. Overnight somebody swiped the wreath from the cairn which has already been vandalized several times.

On the War Memorial  the names of nine war dead were inscribed, including that of Lt.-Col. Stewart, who died in action at Vimy Ridge on April 11, 1917. Architect Walter Wilson Stewart (1871–1917), was a partner in the firm Stewart and Witton who designed St Giles which was opened in 1913.  He was 46 when he enlisted for active service.

Although Stewart & Witton had worked on a major expansion of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian on Barton (now Iglesia Pentecostal Hispaña), St. Giles Presbyterian was their only complete church commission to be built. When Rev. Paulin commissioned the design, Stewart was a congregation member who lived with his family in the Gibson neighbourhood.

Some of Stewart’s other Hamilton projects included the Gibson School, the original Mount Hamilton Hospital, Lloyd George School, Earl Kitchener School, King George School, an addition to Hamilton General and a new façade and major addition to the Hamilton Armouries.

Vandals started attacking the cairn after a memorial plaque was removed in 2018.

Further reading on the battle to save the building.

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