...Wales in the Capital.

Chapel History

Capel

Cymraeg

Clapham

MEMORIAL  WINDOW  TO  MAIR  ELUNED  LLOYD  GEORGE  IN   CLAPHAM  JUNCTION  CHAPEL


There is a beautiful stained glass window in the South wall of the chapel, which serves as a memorial to Mair Eluned Lloyd George ( born in 1890), who died aged 17years of age, on November 29th 1907. Mair was the eldest daughter of David and Margaret Lloyd George, and by all accounts she was a pretty and thoughtful girl. Mair was extremely musical and bright but was most noticeable about her was her graciousness.

In 1903 the family moved to live at 3 Routh Road, Wandsworth, and it was there on November 25th 1907 that Mair had an attack of appendicitis. Four days later she died of peritonitis. Mair’s body was taken to Cricieth for burial, where there is a marble memorial to her. Mair’s tragic death was according to his many biographers, the most devastating personal blow in her father’s life, and for some time after her death, David Lloyd George was inconsolable. He refused to return to live in Routh Road, and the family had to move house, to Cheyne Place, Chelsea.

Mair, her brother Gwilym and her youngest sister Megan worshiped at Clapham Junction, where their mother was a member (Richard, the eldest child and Olwen were brought up as Baptists like their father). It was natural therefore that the parents chose the chapel in Clapham as the site for a memorial window for their eldest daughter. The window was designed by the artist Thomas Figgis Curtis (1854-1924), and was produced by his company T F Curtis, Ward & Hughes of Firth Street, Soho. There are a number of windows designed by Curtis in Gloucester, Lichfield and Lincoln Cathedrals but unfortunately many of the windows he designed in London were destroyed in the Blitz of 1939-1945.

The centrepiece of the window is a full –length portrait of Mair seated at a pipe organ. At her side are two angels ,one playing a harp, the other holding a Bible. Above Mair can be seen seven other smaller angels, some singing and others playing ancient instruments. There are panels with depictions of Cricieth Castle, the Arms of the Princes of Gwynedd, a harp and the Red Dragon. The Welsh words “Cariad” (Love), “Addfwynder”(Meekness), and “Moliant”(Praise) are on other panels, as well as the Biblical verse “ Blessed are the pure in heart” (in Welsh). At the bottom of the window an inscription reads :-  Mair Eluned Lloyd George. Died on November 29 1907 aged 17 years .This is followed by an unsigned Welsh poem in Mair’s memory. It might well have been composed by her father, for David Lloyd George was an accomplished poet and hymn- writer.

The window , with its striking colours and attractive and sensitive design is a fitting tribute to a daughter who was described by her brother and sister as being “saintly” and “angelic”.

The window was dedicated in a service on February 27, 1909 conducted by four eminent ministers:- the Revs.Dr John Williams, Brynsiencyn, Elfed Lewis, King’s Cross, Herbert Morgan ,Castle Street and the minister of Clapham, D Tyler Davies.

The memorial has survived the Blitz (it was apparently removed and stored during the hostilities) and the riots of 2011, and has provided a continuing backdrop to our services of worship for over a century after its installation.

 

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