Meaford, Ontario, Canada — August 11, 1946

A reunion dinner was hosted in Meaford for returned veterans of the Second World war, followed by the unveiling of six stained glass memorial windows placed in Christ Church Anglican. The ceremony, simultaneously broadcast on Britain’s BBC, honoured the families of the fallen.

…the appalling destruction of homes and churches alike, along with the courage and determination of the British people to win through, seemed to make it desirable to link their sacrifice with ours in our memorial.” — Rev. H.F. Appleyard

Canadian troops who campaigned with the clergyman recall that seldom during his service throughout England, Wales, France, Belgium and Holland was he without bits of such glass in his pockets.” — Meaford Express, 22 Aug 1946

A scorched remnant of a Westminster church pew had been fashioned into a plaque bearing the names of six men connected with the congregation who lost their lives while overseas: Sgt. Pilot George Stevenson, Flt. Sgt. Robert Brown Goodman, Radio Officer Gordon Randle, Cpl. Wm. Hackett, Captain Robert Orme Steward, M.I.D.

meaford-war-memorial-windowsThe six stained glass panels, four in the sanctuary and two in the cloister, were made of the collected shards from over 125 war-damaged churches / cathedrals in England, Wales, Ireland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. This collection had been conceived by Christ Church’s own rector, Rev. Harold F. Appleyard, who had been overseas as a military chaplain during the conflict. The considerable collection of medieval glass pieces collected in the field by Rev. Appleyard grew substantially by generous donations from various church officials and from the Crown-appointed architect of London’s ancient churches, Mr. G.S. Sherrin.

The memorial became a reality by the gracious offer of Cox & Barnard, of Hove, Sussex, to re-lead the fragments into the panels. The results were described in the Meaford Express as “beautiful in colour and form” when “revealed at a glance”; and upon closer inspection, remarkable for “the intricacy of the design and infinite patience necessary in the collection and placing”.

This online collection of images offers views of each fragment in detail (roll pointer over each image to magnify). Viewers may draw observations and themes from these complex designs. Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

These very old glass fragments, throughout the war, were carefully catalogued, so that it is possible to determine their exact churches and cathedrals of source. On site at Christ Church is a numbered guide to the most significant pieces. Also onsite is the scrapbook and investigations of the church’s later rector, Rev. E.J. Insley, who in 1987 had travelled to England to learn more about the glass and the histories of the parishes.

I was a veteran of the war myself and I wanted to picture where these windows came from… to me they symbolized both death and the resurrection. This trip is something I wanted to do before I finished my ministry here“. — Rev. E.J. Insley

A number of interesting anecdotes and observations from Rev. Insley’s research are included in the posts: Coventry Blitz, Winchester Mystery Glass, and “Gladly Granted“.

See also: Canadian Geographic article:

Christ Church Anglican’s website:

Viewing the Windows: Christ Church is delighted to welcome visitors who wish to view the windows. They can be viewed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings from 9am to noon. Special guided tours can be arranged.


Comment (1)

  1. Hannah marian

    I contributed recently to a Welsh radio programme about memorial windows and told the story of the Rev Appleby and his dream of a window Also the story inspired me to write a poem and I won the poetry competition and recieved a chairIf I have an e mail I could send u a photo of the chair.

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