St. Giles Church at 85 Holton South in August 2021. Credit: Joey Coleman

Hamilton’s Veterans Committee is willing to assist in finding a fitting new home for the World War I memorial plaque that was part of the St. Giles United Church memorial cairn.

The plaque commemorates nine members of the parish who died serving during the First World War.

St. Giles was also the regimental church of the 86th Machine Gun Battalion. The Regimental Colours of the 86th Battalion were laid up in the church during a service held in November 1919. When the church was closed, the colours were framed and preserved.

The colours are now displayed in the Sergeants Mess of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry. The 86th Battalion is perpetuated by the RHLI.

The Friends of St Giles, a citizen group not affiliated with the church, is seeking to retain the Church building. They asked to delegate to the Veterans Committee regarding the memorial cairn seeking the intervention of the committee.

The Veterans Committee declined the delegation because they do not have jurisdiction over private memorials.

Members of the committee stated they are interested in assisting in the preservation of the plaque.

The Friends of St. Giles website includes extensive information on the memorial, the relationship between St. Giles and the 86th Battalion, and the nine men who are remembered on the plaque.

Additional: Sarah Sheehan of the Friends of St. Giles states they did not seek to delegate. Sheehan writes, “We didn’t submit a delegation request to the Veterans Committee, it was simply written correspondence.”