Memorials For A King and A Country
Fr Ulick Loring, Parish Priest, Church of St James, Twickenham, has been inspired to commission two War Memorial Windows, one in memory of the Portuguese fallen, and the other dedicated to the last King of Portugal.
In the years following the Armistice unprecedented sums were raised by public subscription to remember the fallen of the First World War. However other than the individual graves, and a fireplace at Lyndhurst in the New Forest, there is no War Memorial to the Portuguese fallen of 1914 to 1918, in this country.
Commemoration should not be restricted to governments nor narrowly confined to historians. War Memorials should enable the public to remember and mark the war in ways that are meaningful to them. The aim is to secure a legacy of understanding for the future. Sir John Keegan so perfectly describes how men became interdependent for survival, when he wrote,
“Men whom the trenches cast into intimacy entered into bonds of mutual dependency and sacrifice of self, stronger than any of the friendships made in peace and better times. That is the ultimate mystery of the First World War. If we could understand its loves, as well as its hates, we would be nearer to understanding the mystery of human life.”
Remembrance means reflecting on loss and missed opportunity. We are poorer for the fallen not having enriched the last Century through the arts, science, medicine, business even politics, and we should use this Century to reflect on the mistakes of our predecessors, resolving never to repeat them. War is Hell on Earth and we must do all in our power to avoid it, which is why we remember the fallen by having War Memorials and Acts of Remembrance.
The Unveiling Of The Memorial Windows
09/04/18 – As arranged by Fr Ulick Loring. By invitation only.
Visit To The Imperial War Museum
10/05/18 – A trip to the world famous Imperial War Museum.
Full Event Listings
When: Monday 9th April 2018
Tickets: By invitation only
The Unveiling Of The Memorial Windows (As arranged by Fr Ulick Loring)
By invitation only. Applications can be made in writing to Fr Ulick.
When: Friday 8th June 2018
When: Saturday 4th August 2018
When: Thursday 6th September 2018
Visit To The National Army Museum
When: Thursday 11th October 2018
Illustrated Talk On Portugal
An illustrated talk on Portugal, 100 years after the First World War, currently ranked as the third safest place in the world in which to live. Illustrated talk at 127 Piccadilly. Guest speaker TBC.
Full Details TBC
When: Thursday 8th November 2018
Visit To The Church of St James', Twickenham
Visit to the Church of St James’, Twickenham, description of the Memorial Windows, illustrated talk on Dom Manuel II in exile in Twickenham, his connection with the church, and his personal and selfless contribution to the Allied cause. Guest speaker TBC.
Full Details TBC
St James' Church Memorial Window Fund
About St James' Church
St James’ Church was opened in 1885 by Cardinal Henry Edward Manning. It’s name owes it’s origin to James de Lacy Towle who paid for the church. Amongst it’s features are two stained glass windows at the front donated by King Manuel II of Portugal. There is a memorial to King Manuel on the right hand side of the sanctuary. This was installed in 2009. Additions to the church of a new porch, a children’s chapel dedicated to St Joseph, and a centre behind the church – The Emmanuel Centre – were completed in 2013. Funds are being sought for the redecoration of the church and the installation of two stained glass windows. These will commemorate Portugal’s sacrifices for the Allied War effort in the Great War.
Memorial Windows Fund
Windows are being designed at St James’ to commemorate the sacrifices of the Portuguese in the First World War. It is intended that the unveiling will take place on April 9th 2018. A well-established designer of the stained glass. Caroline Benyon, who has much church experience, is designing the windows and work is in progress.
St James’ boasts a rich history, and much of this is connected with the Royal Family of Portugal. Queen Amélie of Portugal, consort of King Carlos was born in Twickenham in 1865. She was a granddaughter of Louis Philippe King of the French. Her family lived at Orleans House and York House which are both in Twickenham. Her son, King Manuel II, the last sovereign of Portugal, was a Parishioner from 1914 until his death in 1932. He contributed a lot to the church and to the local community. He also provided humanitarian support during the 1914-1918 War. For example he sponsored the National Orthopaedic Hospital, now Hammersmith Hospital, and was involved in the British Red Cross. He was close to George V and his father King Carlos was godfather to Prince John. In the parish he and his wife Queen Victoria Augusta were godparents to many children at their Confirmations. This is recorded in the parish Confirmation register.
After King Manuel’s death various items including a set of silver cruets with his monogram were donated to the church. The King was an accomplished organist and the organ he played was donated to the church by the Queen. Though it is no longer in use the royal shield still can be seen. In 2009 St James Church unveiled a memorial to King Manuel. At this occasion HH Dom Miguel of Braganza (brother of the head of the royal house Dom Duarte), and the then Portuguese Ambassador, Antonio Santana Carlos laid a wreath to commemorate the Portuguese War dead. From this grew the idea that the Portuguese War dead should be remembered in a permanent way. They have no proper memorial in this country although Portugal is regarded as Britain’s oldest ally.