St. Peter's Harrogate Memorials for Ever to "The Glorious Dead" of the Great War
Description by Rev. Claud Sneshall
These Memorials were unveiled on the Fifth day of October in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand, Nine Hundred, and Twenty One, by the Right Honourable the Earl of Harewood, K.C.V.O., Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and were Dedicated at the same time by the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Knaresborough.
The Memorials comprise a Bronze Tablet, and four Stained Glass Windows, the former is designed by Mr. William Walker of the firm of Messrs. Chas. Walker & Sons, Ltd., of Parliament Street, and the work has been executed under the entire direction of Mr. A. Willetts, Artist, of Messrs. Joseph Kaye & Sons, London and Leeds. It consists of two Panels with Pillars and Pinnacles, on either side of a Niche containing the Figure of Our Lord on the Cross. Above this is a Crocketed Lunette which contains foliated cusping and Laurel Wreath, with dates 1914 and 1918, the whole surmounted by a Royal Crown. Upon the panels are inscribed the names of 56 men and 1 woman of S. Peter's Church and Parish, who fell in the Great War. On an apron Mould at the foot of the Cross is the text, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (S. John xv. 13)
The four windows are the work of Messrs. Burlison & Grylls, or 36, Great Ormond Street, W.C.1.
The first, in the West side of the North Aisle, is given by the RELATIVES OF THE FALLEN. It represents three figures. In the centre light, "David with his foot resting on the head of the dead Goliath," and on the Scroll the words, "So David prevailed over the Philistine." On the right is that of "Maccabeus," with a Scroll inscribed, "Let us die manfully for our brethren's sake." On the left, "Deborah," suggestive of the part which Women took in the War, the words on the Scroll being, "My heart is toward the Governors of Israel that offered themselves willingly among the people." In the Centre Tracery Light is a figure of S. Michael, the recognised Patron Saint of the Air Force. The two Tracery Lights on either side contain Angels bearing Scrolls with the words, "Thou hast saved us from our enemies."
The second, on the East Side of the above Window, is inserted by the MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION. The centre light represents the figure of the Angel of Peace, pointing upwards to the figure of Christ on the Cross in the small tracery window above. In the tracery windows on either side are Scrolls, with the words, :Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend." Below the figure of the Angel is a reproduction of the Cartoon, entitled, "The Shrine of Honour," by Mr. Bernard Partridge, depicting "The Unknown Warrior," beneath which are the words,
"Who goes there?"
"I have no name. I died for my Country."
*"Pass, Unknown Warrior."
On the right is the figure of the Soldier, "S. Alban," and on the Scroll the words, "The men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, they were a wall unto us both by night and day." (1 Sam. Xxv. 15, 16.) On the left is that of "S. Nicholas," the Patron Saint of Sailors, with the words on the Scroll, "These men see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep."
On the Wall between these two Memorial Windows is a Brass, having the following Inscription:--
The Memorial Tablet erected on the West Wall of the Church and the Windows to the right and left of this Brass have been placed in memory of those who made the Supreme Sacrifice in the Great War, 1914-1918. The Window on the right being given by the Members of the Congregation and that on the left by the Relatives of those who fell.
The third, at the North of the West Wall depicts S. John's Vision, as related in Rev. xix., the small tracery windows above having the figures of Angels, and on the Scrolls the words, "In righteousness He doth judge and make War," with the following Inscription at the base of the Window:--
"To the Glory of God, and in loving remembrance of Aubrey Cecil James Combes, 19th (Public Schools) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, who fell at Guinchy, France, Dec. 28th 1915, in the Great War, 1914-1918, aged 24 years.
This Window is inserted by MR. & MRS. JAMES COOMBES, of Harrogate, in memory of their Son.
The fourth, at the West End of the South Aisle, is given by the REV. L.E.W. & MRS. FOOTE, in memory of their Sons, one of whom (Mawdsley, Major Loyal North Lancs. Regt.) was killed in action at Ypres, on July 10th 1917. There are three figures representing, in the centre, "S. George," on the right "S. Michael," and on the left "S. Gabriel," with the following Inscription in the base of the Window:-- "To the Glory of God, and in loving memory of three Sons of the Rev. L.E.W. and Mrs. Foote. . . . Charles - Mawdsley - Leslie." and on the Scroll the words, "Now is come Salvation and Strength and the Kingdom of our God." (Rev. xii. 10)
The Tracery Windows above consist of two Angels in the Centre holding a Shield bearing the Arms of England, on either side of which are the Crests of the Sees of Canterbury and York.
The Armistice was signed on November 11th, 1918. On the 2nd Anniversary of that great day, King George V, unveiled the Cenotaph in Whitehall, and the Nation was silent for two minutes. On the same day the body of an Unknown Defender of the Empire was buried in Westminster Abbey, having been brought from a grave amid the battlefield of Flanders. When the coffin reached the Cenotaph, the King, in his capacity of Chief Mourner and in token of the Nation's homage, placed upon it a wreath made of Bay Leaves and Red Roses intertwined. Attached to the wreath was a card on which His Majesty had written the words:-- "In proud memory of those who died unknown in the Great War. Unknown and yet well-known; as dying and behold they live" - - - George R. I., November 11th 1920.
*Permission to introduce this Drawing, which appeared in "Punch," Nov. 10th 1919, was given by Messrs. Bradbiry, Agnew & Co., Ltd., Propietors of "Punch."
Patricia Hayward ©2001
from photography by Colin Hinson.