The Centenary of the Dedication of the Harry Clarke Window


September 2020 marks the Centenary of the Dedication of the beautiful “Harry Clarke” window in the south aisle of St Mary’s.

On a cold winter day – 25th February 1918 – a young lieutenant from Alvaston Hall, just outside Nantwich, was shot and killed by the enemy at a remote spot in Northern Greece. He was leading a small group of soldiers from the Kings Royal Rifles on a reconnoitering mission – his name was Lt. Richard Knowles (aged 19 years). (His father only received confirmation of his death in June after the Germans had dropped a note behind the lines). His mother Mildred had died in 1913 aged only 42 years.

In 1919 Lt. Knowles’ father commissioned a memorial window from the very notable Irish artist Harry Clarke.

By the summer of 1920 this window was complete and installed (believed to have been personally supervised by Harry Clarke himself).

The window was named “Motherhood and Sacrifice” depicting the Blessed Virgin holding the child born to be sacrificed – it is remarkable.

The Centenary of the Dedication by the then Archdeacon of Chester falls in September 2020.

St. Mary’s is indeed fortunate to have such an outstanding example of stained glass art by Harry Clarke.

(There is a leaflet available in the Church and Shop when things return to normal).

Liz Chisnall