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Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Abbey is not currently open for worship or general visiting but you are welcome to visit for individual prayer at the following times:

Monday - Saturday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Sunday: 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Our clergy are also producing regular podcasts to support worship from home.

Louis Bennett & Royal Flying Corps

In 1922 a stained glass window was unveiled in Westminster Abbey to members of the Royal Flying Corps who died during the 1914-1918 war. It was given by Mrs Louis Bennett of West Virginia USA, especially in memory of her son, Lt. Louis Bennett junior. He was born in Weston in 1894 and was killed on 24th August 1918 while serving with no. 40 squadron of the Corps in France. The window overlooks the grave of the Unknown Warrior in the nave and is by the artist Harry Grylls (1873-1953).

The theme of the window is flying men and wings, illustrated by passages from the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel. At the top is a figure of St Michael, patron saint of airmen, trampling the devil angel. The larger figures of angels bear the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. The face of the angel holding the shield is a portrait of Louis. The inscription reads:

To the glory of God and in proud and thankful memory of those members of the British [Royal] Flying Corps who fell in the Great War 1914-18.

The badge of the RFC (later the Royal Air Force) and the badge of the West Virginia Flying Corps, incorporating the seal of that State, also appear. This window is among several memorials Sallie Bennett erected to her son's memory on both sides of the Atlantic.

Further reading

The window appears on the cover of the booklet Stained Glass in Westminster Abbey by Christine Reynolds, 2002

Occupation

Airman

Location

Nave

Memorial Type

Window

Material Type

Glass

Louis Bennett & Royal Flying Corps
Louis Bennett Jr

British Government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Louis Bennett & Royal Flying Corps
Nave windows, Royal Flying Corps. Louis Bennett figure

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Louis Bennett & Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps Window given by Mrs Bennet

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Related commemorations

At different times of the day, or in different seasons, the light falling in the Abbey will light up something that you have walked past a million times and never seen before.

Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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