War memorials take many shapes and forms. Many are simple in design and materials but there are some which are works of art. The most recognised 'artistic' Scottish war memorials are probably statues like Scott Sutherland's Commando memorial at Spean Bridge or Alexander Carrick's Highlander at Dornoch; but some of the most stunning can be the war memorial windows in churches up and down the country.
One which is worthy of singling out here is the memorial window to Captain Alexander 'Alick' Dobree Young-Herries, King's Own Scottish Borderers who was killed in action in the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. It is by Douglas Strachan and is in Urr Parish Church near Dalbeattie. Strachan's most famous commissions are the stained glass windows in the Scottish National War Memorial but he did several private commissions like this one.
The window was paid for by the dead man's father, Colonel W. D. Young-Herries of Spottes, Dalbeattie and was erected in the church in April 1921. As with many church windows the scene is biblical and this one shows the Crucifixion.
A small plaque was placed below the window by Colonel Young-Herries to commemorate his father who laid the foundation stone of the church, and his son Alexander. At the bottom is has the inscription ""Forgetting those things which are behind. I press toward the Mark"" which is taken from Philippians 3:13
Alick Herries is also commemorated on the Haugh of Urr memorial, and Springholm War Memorial, and has another memorial in St Ninian’s Episcopal Church, Castle Douglas. It is his original wooden grave marker cross which was given to his family by the Imperial War Graves Commission when it was replaced by a headstone in Dantzig Alley war cemetery in Mametz, France.
According to Paul Goodwin, Captain Herries was educated at Eton and Cambridge; he was prominent in the boy scout movement, rowing circles and was a devout churchman.
Captain Alexander Dobree Young-Herries , King's Own Scottish Borderers