In November 1919 Harry Clarke was commissioned to design a three-light window for the church at Sturminster Newton, in Dorset. Drummond C. Spencer Smith commissioned the window in memory of his wife, Roma. The tracery lights at the top of the window contain a quatrefoil of the Saint George cross. Four angels are also depicted.
The first light shows the thirteenth-century Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, patron saint of nurses. She wears an orange cloak, pale golden robes and a silver crown. Saint Elizabeth spent her life doing acts of charity to the sick and poor. (Sturminster leaflet). In the lower section of the window there is a beautiful angel holding a bouquet of pink roses.
The central light depicts the Madonna and child. Mary wears a cloak, gown, headdress and dainty slippers in deep blue. Jesus sits on her right arm, attired in white and gold robes. The lower panel depicts two female shepherds watching their flock at night.
The right light depicts the third-century Saint Barbara, virgin and martyr. She is portrayed in robes of magenta, purple and silver. Her father feared that she would be kidnapped and so he imprisoned her in a tower. In the lower section a magnificent angel with golden wings and silver robes holds a silver feather. This represents the legend that when St. Barbara was being scourged the scourges turned to feathers. The window is signed Harry Clarke Dublin May 1921 in the lower section of the right light.
____Sturminster Leaflet, This window is dedicated to the memory of Roma Spencer-Smith, St. Mary’s Church of England, Sturminster N
Photos Michael Cullen 2009 and Text by Lucy Costigan 2009