Rev. George Stephen Osborn, M.A. (1917-26)
Rev. Brown's successor, Rev. George Stephen Osborn, previously Vicar of St Peter's,
An economy he gladly accepted was the provision of a smaller house. The Parsonage, now in need of constant repair, was sold and
Rev. Osborn's arrived at the beginning of 1918, as the war entered its most critical phase. For the outbreak of revolution in Russia and an accommodation between the Bolshevik and German governments had allowed the Germans to transfer many divisions to the Western Front. On 21 March, they launched the Kaiserschlacht offensive, aiming to break through to Paris before large numbers of fresh American troops could deploy in Europe. The attack broke through the Allied lines and threatened Amiens and the Channel Ports. Bitter defensive fighting by British, French and newly-arrived Americans exhausted the German effort and the Allies were able to regain the initiative. Starting at Amiens in August, the Allies began an almost continuous advance until the Germans called for an Armistice in November.
Holy Trinity's last casualties of the war were Rifleman Richard Counter and Pte Mark Fawley. Counter was demobilised from the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders at the end of hostilities, but re-enlisted in the Queen's Westminster Rifles. He died as part of the British garrison in Cologne, Germany in February 1919, age 26. The circumstances of Fawley's death are unknown. He died in March 1919, aged 22, and is buried in Hawick.
The war cost Holy Trinity's congregation an immense amount of pain. A high proportion were regular soldiers, reservists or territorials and their families. Some survivors no doubt suffered from what today is called post-traumatic stress disorder, where anger is the dominant emotion. The bereaved looked for comfort to the church and Rev. Osborn, who had arrived early in 1918. A magnificent memorial chapel was created and dedicated in 1921, in which the names of the sons of Stirling's great landowning families - the Buchanans, Murrays, Stirlings and Youngers - intermingle with those of the coalman, laundryman, miner and vanman, as do their souls before God.
Despite his wartime preoccupations, Rev. Brown had, before leaving, found time to approach the architect Sir Ninian Comper about converting the east end of the north aisle into a prayer chapel, the need for which both he and his successor felt. This space was being used as a kind of sacristy, concealed from public view by a curtain. An appeal went out to the congregation and, in 1920, a committee accepted a scheme submitted by Sir Robert Lorimer, once Sir Robert Rowand Anderson's pupil and later his colleague, for converting the available space, without and structural alterations, into 'an impressive shrine' to the war dead. The committee also had the help of Sir D. Y. Cameron, a well-known Scottish artist, who lived in Kippen.
The chapel was dedicated in
A year later, a wrought iron screen for the Memorial Chapel was presented by Sir George Younger. Sir Robert Lorimer designed it and it was felt 'it would give the chapel a certain seclusion without cutting it off or obscuring the window'. Seats and kneelers were already given and it now appeared more like the chapel it was intended to be.
Rev, Osborn had meanwhile been dealing with matters affecting the Home and the School. After the Sisters left, Deaconess Mary Malden took charge of the former, but when, at last, a curate, Rev. J. D. Bisset, was appointed, it was financially impossible to employ both. The Deaconess took a post in Queensferry and a lady worker, Miss Houston, was appointed in her place.
The Education (
Miss Tasker, a well-known and valued worker in church activities, became, in her own right, the first woman member of the new Local Education Committee. Women were first eligible as Vestry members in 1925. Thereafter, women played an increasingly large part in church work, not merely in dispensing hospitality, but in administrative and business matters, in which such personalities as Miss Belford, Miss Dundas (who maintained a beautiful church garden), Miss Tasker and Mrs Thomson showed acumen no less effective than their male predecessors had done. This process culminated in the appointment of the first woman Rector, Rev. Alison Peden, at Holy Trinity in 2003.