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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.

The window appears on the cover of the booklet "Stained Glass of Westminster Abbey" by Christine Reynolds, 2002 (available at the Abbey Shop)





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

© The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

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

© The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

I’ve worked here for over thirty years and have seen many of the major services - it’s strange to realise that you are in a small way part of history.


Pamela - Rector's Secretary

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