Memorial Details

NEWMP Memorial Image
Photo: J. Brown


Stained Glass Window RFC RAF 1914-18 1939-45 Abbey





Map ref

NY 937642

Original Location

Priory and Parish Church of St. Andrew, Market Place. North aisle of nave.

Which war

a. 1914-18
b. 1939-45

Dedication, Creation or Publication date

Dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Newcastle at Battle of Britain Service Sept. 1965.

Memorial Description

Stained glass window of three lights, each 2400 cm high x 570 cm wide.
The left light depicts the badge of the R.A.F.A.;
the centre light depicts the R.A.F. badge and motto;
the right light depicts the Civic Arms granted to Hexham in August 1953.
The dedication is at the foot of the central light, the lettering in black Roman capitals.


To the Glory of God
in remembrance of those of Hexham
and District who served with the
Royal Flying Corps
and the Royal Air Force.



Who commissioned

Royal Air Force Association


£715 (Target of fund)

How money was raised

R.A.F.A. who received contributions from local people and organisations.

Sculptor, Artist or Designer

Stanley Murray Scott 1965, Chief designer for Reed Millican.


1. This commentary by the distinguished artist, Mr. S.M. Scott, on how he developed the design for the R.A.F. memorial window appeared in the November 1965 issue of The Abbey Chronicle:
" R.A.F. Memorial Window. The purpose of this window is to commemorate the contribution of local people to the achievement of the Flying Services in the defence of this country in two great wars, and the maintenance of peace. These people served in many different capacities, and from their various points of view, many pictorial ideas might have been found, to be incorporated in the design of the window. But a simple idea which would embrace them all seemed preferable, and this was found in the motto of the Royal Air Force, “Per Ardua Ad Astra”, meaning “through difficulties to the stars” now almost a literal statement of the progress of flying, but still an apt metaphor for the spirit of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force.So this idea supplied the basis for the design; translated into decorative forms, it resulted in long rising lines in the main lights, leading to the stars which shine among the deeper colours of the tracery panels. The reds and yellows among these colours are grouped to form, together with the lines of the centre light, the image of a sword, which symbolises the military aspect of the Service. (The same device is used on the Cenotaph outside the Abbey).
From this beginning the design developed as an expression of the almost abstract vision of flying which the watcher on the ground might have the vapour trail sweeping across the blue arch of the sky, with no visible cause; the sweeping lined of movement unaffected by the obstacles which would divert the path of a traveller on the ground; and blending with these, the shape of the aeroplane as everyone knew it in the last war, fitting firmly into the architectural structure of the window. The familiar circular symbols on the wings fall naturally into the heads of the side-lights.

Superimposed on the pattern of lines and colours which evolved are the three heraldic devices which were required to appear in the window. They represent the three parties concerned in the memorial The R.A.F. (with the R.F.C.), the R.A.F. Association and the citizens of Hexham. Together they form a centre of interest and dominate the window.
This is how the design developed. At all stages its relationship to its setting bad to be kept in mind for instance, it had to be a “light window”; and the position of the bars of the external ironwork governed the placing of various details and provided a firm “skeleton” for non-geometric flowing lines of the design.”

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

Photos: C.N. Dallison

Abbey Chronicle (Parish Magazine) October & November 1965; October 1990.

Diocese of Newcastle Faculty No. 2390 05/01/1965

Research acknowledgements

The late Ken and Dorothy Southern; C.N. Dallison; J. Brown; Rev. Alan Bill

Research In Progress

Alan Grint has researched the names on the Hexham memorials in his book The Faith and Fire Within, 2006, Ergo Press ISBN 0955275814 Contact:-Cogito books 01434 602555

Stained Glass Window RFC RAF 1914-18 1939-45 Abbey (H51.12)

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