Pollokshields Heritage Heritage Trail Two 
Alfred Alexander Webster (1883-1915)

Guiltreehill

Responsible for Pollokshields West Church.

Webster was born on 19th December 1883 at 40 Keir Street, Pollokshields. In his book ‘A Notable Ornament. Lansdowne Church: An Icon of Victorian Glasgow’, Gordon Urquhart’s research confirms that the young Alfred’s early education was at the Albert Road Academy, Pollokshields. The 1901 census confirms that seventeen year old Alfred was still living at the family home at 35 Leven Street and was employed as a shipbrokers clerk. On the 11th June 1902 aged eighteen he married Maude Caroline Murdoch Cochrane, also eighteen, at 8 East John Street, Glasgow.

Shortly after his marriage he enrolled in evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art where he studied architecture and modelling and as Gordon Urquhart once more confirms he also took classes in stained glass held by Stephen Adam Jnr. Webster then left his job as a shipbrokers clerk and joined the Stephen Adam studio where over the next seven years he worked on numerous church commissions.

Alfred Webster became a partner in Stephen Adam & Co., in 1909 and when Adam himself died on 23rd August 1910 he continued as sole partner under the same company name.

Webster enlisted in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion Gordon Highlanders in February 1915 and received his commission of 2nd Lieutenant in March, after which the studio closed. He was re-assigned to the 1st Battalion, and was shipped to the front in June 1915 to the region of Ouderdom, southwest of Ypres. He was wounded while out on patrol near a German wire embankment on the night of the 16th August 1915 and died from his wounds at Etaples on 24th August 1915.

Stephen Adam & Co., was transferred to his widow who continued to carry on the business on behalf of herself and her children. In 1930 she sold the company to her son George Gordon McWhirter Webster, who followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming one of Scotland’s most talented stained glass artists.