SUBJECT: PROPOSED WAR MEMORIAL FOR ST. GEORGE’S CHURCH, ROYAL NAVAL BARRACKS, CHATHAM.
FROM: COMMODORE, R.N. BARRACKS, CHATHAM.
DATE: 29TH NOVEMBER, 1947.
TO: COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, THE NORE.
It is requested that the following project for a war memorial from non-public funds for St. George’s Church, R.N. Barracks, Chatham, may be submitted for final approval to the admiralty.
2. Proposals have been received from time to time from captains of ships and relatives to commemorate those lost at sea in plaques, stained glass windows and tablets.
It becomes clear that a well considered design by an expert artist was required to co-ordinate the proposals, so that the beauty of the church would be enhanced.
3. The canteen Committee was approached, and a substantial sum of money was voted to commemorate those ships manned from the Port Division sunk during the war in which so many of their shipmates had lost their lives.
4. The architect of Guildford Cathedral, Mr, Edward Maufe, was consulted, and after careful consideration the architect, the canteen Committee and those concerned agreed that the project should include the following features:-
(a) The existing crude red brick walls of the sanctuary to be finished a stone-white colour, the Purbeck shafts and the stonework to be cleaned only.
(b) The existing plain pine ceiling to be decoratively painted in harmony with the new stained glass windows.
(c) The existing reredos, which is of fine design to be completed by further gilding and colouring of figures, canopies and foliage.
(d) The existing black wrought iron screen to have its “flourishes” finished in English gold leaf.
(e) The existing zinc organ pipes to be cleaned and decorated.
(f) The existing crude red carpet to be dyed.
(g) The existing varnished stalls, altar rails and organ consol to be “pickled” to harmonize with the reredos.
(h) The existing varnished standard candlesticks to be finished English gold leaf and burnished.
(i) The existing flood lights to be modernized by adding anti-glare fittings.
(j) The provision of a beautifully bound book of Remembrance.
(k) The ten existing plain glass windows of the sanctuary and chancel to be replaced by stained glass windows to commemorate ships from the Port Division which were sunk.
5. Mr. Maufe’s general plan of the redecoration proposed above is forwarded herewith. The present rough finished red brick is colour washed off-white.
6. On Mr. Maufe’s advice, Mr. Hugh Easton, who carried out the work of the Battle of Britain windows in Westminster, was called in. This ex R.N.V.R. officer showed great interest and enthusiasm, and has produced a first design of the windows, which is also forwarded herewith.
7. Mr. Easton has made this sketch to show the general effect and colour of his proposals. It will be observed that the design includes in the head of the windows the signs of the cross, at the foot of one window one single figure, and in the body of the windows emblems of the ships to be commemorated, which are not yet complete.
8. The money from non-public funds is sufficient to cover the estimated cost. Mr. Maufe, Mr. Easton and the Royal Naval Barracks’ representatives are completely satisfied with the proposals.
9. I would emphasize that a great deal of time and thought have been put into this project to ensure that the effect of all the proposals will be to beautify the whole church. It is therefore hoped that the design which is intended to convey a sense of thankfulness for splendid and willing sacrifice, and to commemorate a fine episode in British Naval history may be accepted as a whole.