There are six embroidered processional banners at the Abbey which are carried at church festivals and certain special services. They are usually displayed either side of the High Altar and each measures 6 feet 6 inches by 3 feet.
Banner of St Martin
This is of white silk brocade embroidered in rich silks with designs of roses, thistles, shamrocks and leeks, with a figure of St Martin on horseback in the centre in the act of dividing his cloak with the beggar. The banner, designed by the Revd. E.E. Dorling, was presented in November 1921 by the
Church Lads' Brigade as a memorial to those who died in the Great War. The Latin inscription on the reverse can be translated "In eternal memory of members who recently so splendidly died in war for God, King and Country the CLB gave this banner 1921"
Banner of Our Lady
This is made of blue and dark mauve brocaded silk damask embroidered with rich silks with a wreath of red and white roses around the central group depicting the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child. The flanking figures are of St Peter, patron saint of the Abbey, and St Edward the Confessor, holding up
his ring. This was presented on 4 November 1922 by the Girls' Friendly Society and was designed by J.Ninian Comper. The inscription reads "They died that freedom still should live, in life, O friends, as proudly give".
Banner of St Peter
The Mothers' Union presented this banner, designed by J.Ninian Comper, on 22 June 1926. This is of blue and gold brocaded silk damask embroidered in silks with a circle of white edged with gold. The central group consists of Christ holding a cross standing on a green mound at the head of a flock of
sheep with St Peter kneeling for blessing in front.
Banner of St Oswald
This crimson and gold damask silk banner embroidered in rich green silk shows a figure of St Oswald, King of Northumbria, clad in armour with a surcoat of red and gold. It was presented in September 1938 by the Church of England Mens' Society.
Banner of St Edward the Confessor
This was designed by Christopher Webb and presented in 1945 by Eulalie Buckmaster in memory of her father. On a plate on the banner pole is the inscription "In memory of Walter Selby Buckmaster October 16 1872: October 30 1942". It is of cloth of gold embroidered in rich silks with a figure of St Edward
the Confessor holding a model of the Abbey which he built and a charter of foundation. The shields of arms of St Peter, St John the Evangelist, the Abbey monastery and the Collegiate Church are shown.
Banner of St George
This is of cream and rose damask silk with a figure of St George, patron saint of England, arrayed as an officer in the Roman army trampling on a dragon. The designer was Christopher Webb and the banner was presented in 1948 by Mrs Itterson-Pronk, a member of the Abbey congregation. The scroll around
the head of the saint reads "George victorious champion knight of Christendom patron of the most noble realm of England" and below "This blessed plot, This earth, This realm, This England".
Photos of the banners can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.
Click on the images to enlarge