The large Communion Table in Peterculter Church was 100 years old in April.

It was originally the Communion Table at St Peter’s Church and it bears the inscription:

“This Communion table is dedicated to the glory of God, and in loving remembrance of Alice Margaret, wife of Captain Holland, C.B., R.N., daughter of Theodore and Margaret B Crombie of Culter – 18th April 1920”.

Callum Stuart, from the Heritage Trust, recently undertook some research into the background to this inscription.  Alice Margaret Crombie married Captain (later to be Rear-Admiral) Hubert Henry Holland on 14th February 1912. Daughters- Joan Kathleen Holland was born on 6th December 1912; Joycelyn Maud Holland was born 27th July 1917. A third daughter, Alice Margaret Holland arrived on 15th November 1918.  Her mother, Alice Margaret Holland, died on 30th November 1918, just 2 weeks later.  The obvious conclusion would be that this was as a result of childbirth – in fact Alice was a victim of the Spanish Flu which according to her death certificate she had been suffering with for 16 days. The communion table and chair were presented, by the Crombie’s of Culter, to remember her untimely death.

When Theodore Crombie died in 1922, the Rev. James L Thomson said:

“We think today especially of his great interest and help towards the work of the Church of Christ. He was a devoted member of the West Parish Church, Aberdeen, of which he was for many years an elder. We also know how interested he has been in this church, contributing generously to the organ fund, while he further greatly improved the church by the alterations carried out in the choir seating, and in the gift of the beautifully carved oak Communion table and chair in memory of his beloved daughter. We think, too, on the very special interest which in these days of feebleness he took in the erection and equipment of the new Recreation Hall.”

The Recreation Hall mentioned above is now the Village Hall.

Alice Margaret was engaged in 1939 and is pictured in the Society Pages- but the marriage does not seem to have taken place- instead she eventually married Philip Alexander Clement Bridgewater  (1910-1979). He had a previous marriage to Ursula Vanda Maud Vivian, Countess of Glasgow.   She  was  a decoder for SOE during the war in Italy, it stands for the Special Operations Executive

Alice, as you can see in the photograph below,  lived to get her telegram from the Queen and died on 3 April 2019 in Tavistock, Devon.