The Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, unveiled in 1861 and (as it says across the foot of the panels) dedicated to the memory of the "comrades who perished during the Indian Mutiny of 1857-8-9." The main figures, seen more closely in the image on the right, are (centre) St George slaying the dragon, flanked by John the Baptist preaching to soldiers, and the angel appearing to Cornelius the Centurion in the New Testament (Acts 10, 3)., installed in
Closer view of the lower part of the window.
According to the North East War Memorials Project, the lower parts of the window show (on the left) "The song of Moses and Miriam after the overthrow of Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, with the text, 'Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously. The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea'"; and (on the right) "The lament of David at the death of Saul and Jonathan. 'How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! How are the mighty fallen and the weapons of war perished!'" In the middle is the crusading knight, St George, the motif being that of the badge of the Royal Fusiliers, which bears their motto "Quo Fata Vocant" ("Wherever the Fates Call"). Their various engagements appear round the side of the "wreath" device, with the place where they fell in the mutiny, Lucknow, added as a pendant at its foot.
Under the window are two brass plaques, explaining that the window was given by "the Officers non-commissioned officers & men of the Fifth or Northumberland fusiliers," and naming the many who died at that time. At the end it also lists the names of officers, and simply the number (332) of non-commissioned officers and men of the battalion who died subsequently in India and Afghanistan between 1866 and 1881, along with 17 women and 79 children.
As Roger Bowdler points out (on pp.25-26), the idea was not just to encourage remembrance, but to inspire similar patriotism and bravery, by presenting these as Christian virtues. Here, in the setting of appropriate Biblical episodes, we see the Royal Standard above the figure of St George, as well as regimental regalia and the Union Jack. It is all very moving, although the cause itself (to postcolonial eyes) was highly dubious.
Photographs by Colin Price, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.
Bowdler, Roger. War Memorials Britain's Heritage series. Stroud, Glos.: Amberley, 2019.
North East War Memorials Project. This gives all the names of the dead. Web. 19 October 2019.
19 October 2019