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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Little Britain United Church and Cemetery (RM of St. Andrews)

Little Britain United Church, built between 1872 and 1874 by stonemason Duncan McRae, is the oldest United Church building in Manitoba. Initially Presbyterian, the original congregation was served by Reverend John Black, the first Presbyterian minister at the Selkirk Settlement. The church was constructed by two of the most important stonemasons of the era, John Clouston and Duncan McRae. The tower was added in 1920, a memorial to the dead of the First World War.

Next to the church is a plaque, erected in 1983 by the Historic Sites Advisory Board of Manitoba, in commemoration of stonemason Duncan McRae. A stone cairn near the church was erected in 1933 to commemorate the beginning of worship in this Parish under Reverend John Black in 1853. It was relocated from the original site on River Road North of the Lockport Dam and was rededicated on 30 September 2012 to celebrate the 160th anniversary of services.

Among the noteworthy people buried in its cemetery is Duncan McRae.

Plaques inside the church commemorate parishioners who were killed during military service in the First World War.

New roof on Little Britain United Church

New roof on Little Britain United Church (August 2021)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Little Britain United Church

Little Britain United Church (December 2015)
Source: George Penner

Little Britain United Church

Little Britain United Church (2016)
Source: Desiree Rolfe

Interior of Little Britain United Church

Interior of Little Britain United Church (December 2015)
Source: George Penner

Commemorative plaques inside Little Britain United Church

Commemorative plaques inside Little Britain United Church (January 2021)
Source: Tanya Wiegand

Little Britain commemorative monument

Little Britain commemorative monument (December 2015)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.10280, W96.94020
denoted by symbol on the map above

First World War Casualties

Name

Occupation

Service

Rank

Birth Date

Death Date

Harry Cosbey Clarke
[Next of Kin, St. Andrews, Selkirk]

Salesman

8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

30 December 1888

26 September 1916

William Calder Cumming
[St. Andrews, Selkirk]

Student

4th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders

Second Lieutenant

10 June 1894

24 April 1922

Thomas James Davis
[St. Andrews, Selkirk]

Farm Hand

1st Company, Canadian Machine Gun Corps

Private

13 November 1896

9 April 1917

George Donald
[St. Andrews, Selkirk]

Teamster

8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

3 February 1897

8 September 1916

Edwin Fidler
[St. Andrews, Selkirk]

Farmer

43rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

28 August 1892

12 August 1916

Jacob Martin Johnston
[St. Andrews, Selkirk, 108 Battalion]

Scholar

43rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Corporal

28 October 1897

27 December 1917

Colin Angus McDonald
[St. Andrews, Selkirk]

Farmer

8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

4 August 1895

28 September 1918

Thomas Mowat
[St. Andrews, Selkirk, 108 Battalion]

Labourer

78th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

4 March 1887

9 April 1917

James Stewart Swain
[Armoury, St. Andrews, Selkirk]

Labourer

29th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lance Corporal

15 May 1890

13 August 1918

See also:

Church History Resources of Manitoba by G. B. King
MHS Transactions, Series 3, 1944-45 Season

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Provincially Designated Historic Sites

Sources:

Little Britain United Church, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch

MHM - Duncan McRae - Little Britain MB, Waymarking.

The Old Stone Church. The History of Little Britain United Church (est. 1852) by K. Schneider and Gwen Fox.

We thank George Penner, Desiree Rolfe, Tanya Wiegand, and Rose Kuzina for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Darryl Toews.

Page revised: 27 August 2021

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