Finest Hour 170, Fall 2015
The design of the new Sir Winston Churchill Memorial Window fits seamlessly into the architecture of St. Martin’s Church to reflect the design of the existing Spencer-Churchill window.
The main figures are St. Martin and St. Alban. St. Martin is, appropriately, the patron saint of soldiers. St. Alban was chosen to be the second saint, as he is held to be the first martyr of England.
The design is crowned by Sir Winston’s coat of arms. The window is thereafter divided into two “lights,” one for each saint, and fitting in with the existing tracery.
The left-hand “St. Martin” light features the cap badge of the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars. Vines and grapes form the background; St. Martin is the patron saint of vintners. At the foot of the light is a vignette of Sir Winston touring a wartime dockyard, cheered by the workers.
The right-hand “St. Alban” light features the badges of the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, and the cap badge for the Harrow Rifles at the top of each light. Thus all four of Sir Winston’s most important military units are represented. The footing shows Churchill, Montgomery, and Alanbrooke on the banks of the Rhine.
The border symbols include: a butterfly (for those at Chartwell), a Spitfire, a book written by Sir Winston, Sir Winston playing polo, Jock the cat, Rufus the poodle, Sir Winston’s bow tie, the portcullis of the House of Commons, two men fencing to represent Sir Winston’s fencing prowess, the Union Jack in black and white, “Come into the Factories” poster, an evacuee child with a label and a suitcase, the Stars and Stripes in colour, poppies in red, a tank, a gas mask, St. George’s flag in colour, the V for Victory salute, a tin hat, painting brushes, a car, Sir Winston’s racing colours, a soldier, Pol Roger champagne, a black swan, an ink pen, Liberator Commando, WSC’s profile with cigar, Nobel Prize for Literature, and an image of barbed wire broken to represent Sir Winston’s escape from a Boer prisoner of war camp.
Running throughout the coloured background to both lights are many quotations from Sir Winston’s speeches, writings and bons mots. All images and quotations have been verified: they are all reliable and, we feel, appropriate, references to Sir Winston’s career and humanity. They will offer an education to visitors as they consider each aspect of the window.
—The Reverend Canon Adrian Daffern