The Blackmore Vale May '21

Page 16

FOOD & DRINK

Harry Clarke’s depiction of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary - a portrait of Roma Spencer-Smith - with the Madonna and child in the centre. The child is an image of Roma & Drummond’s toddler son. On the right is a portrait of Harry Clarke’s own wife, representing Saint Barbara, the patron saint of artillerymen. Image: Rachael Rowe

Deco Artist’s Poignant Masterpiece Tells Tragic Tale of Loss in Stur The jewelled colours of St Elizabeth of Hungary sparkle in the late afternoon sunlight. Her flaming red hair and the sight of the Madonna flanked by two women in the stained glass window would have been a dramatic sight for the Sturminster Newton parishioners in 1921.

posted to New Zealand as Aide De Camp to the GovernorGeneral. It was in New Zealand that he met Roma Hope, a beautiful red-headed girl from Timaru on South Island. They became engaged, married in London in 1915 and moved to Sturminster Newton.

A century later, elements of the story behind this rare Art Deco memorial window resonate with the current pandemic and the sacrifice made by people across the world.

The couple had been married just three years, of which Drummond spent most of the time serving in World War One. Roma left an elevenmonth-old son.

The Spencer Smith family lived in Sturminster Newton. Drummond Cospatric Spencer-Smith was an officer in the Royal Artillery,

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During the First World War, Roma worked as a nurse at St Thomas Hospital in London. Tragically, she died on 12 November 1918 during the flu pandemic, aged 28, and the day after the armistice.

by Rachael Rowe A devastated Sir Drummond Spencer-Smith commissioned a memorial stained glass window for Sturminster Newton.

Harry Clarke was an awardwinning stained glass artist and book illustrator from Ireland and a strict catholic. He had studied in Chartres, and the rich colours used in his work are a result of the influence the cathedral windows had on him. His work was considered bizarre by many but was strongly influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement.

We don’t know why Harry Clarke accepted the commission for Sir Drummond Spencer Smith. Was it a shared sense of compassion for the prolific global loss in the 1918 Flu Pandemic? Always free - subscribe here


Articles inside

North Dorset Property Special

9min
pages 126-134

Puzzles

1min
page 102

Night Sky

3min
pages 100-101

Business News | Dorset Biz News

4min
pages 98-99

Health

5min
pages 96-97

Photography

5min
pages 91-95

Art

5min
pages 87-90

Reader's Letters

7min
pages 76-77

Food & Drink

16min
pages 78-86

Charity pages

3min
pages 74-75

Random 19 - Philippa Davis

7min
pages 67-69

Take a Hike

1min
pages 60-61

Garden Jobs

2min
pages 65-66

Barry Cuff | Voice of the Allotment

2min
page 64

Out of Doors

4min
pages 62-63

Farming

5min
pages 56-59

Equestrian

3min
pages 54-55

Brigit Strawbridge

2min
page 49

Wildlife

3min
pages 46-48

Police alert

1min
page 31

Meet Your Local

3min
pages 44-45

Dorset Art Weeks Feature

4min
pages 18-23

Then & Now | Roger Guttridge

2min
pages 42-43

Tales from the Vale | Andy Palmer

6min
pages 40-41

14yr old Ruby ‘The Pocket Rocket’ Else-White recognised as one of Europe’s top talents.

4min
pages 4-5

Rural Matters - CPRE

2min
pages 26-27
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