Stained Glass Windows Dedicated

On Sunday, March 5th, 2023 Trinity College School (TCS) dedicated three new stained glass windows in their Memorial Chapel in memory of TCS old boy Captain Thomas Alan Staunton.  Staunton served with The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada during the Second World War and landed with them on D-Day. He later transferred to the Headquarters of 2 Canadian Corps after receiving an ear injury.

The Memorial Chapel, was opened in 1951 and dedicated to the memory of 185 Old Boys killed in the Boer War, World War I and World War II. The consecration of the chapel was presided over by the Reverends L.W.B. Broughall and R.J. Renison, both TCS Old Boys. Also attending were Governor General Viscount Alexander and his wife, and the Right Honourable Vincent Massey.

[Massey was also a former QOR officer, and Rev. Broughall was the uncle of Deric Broughall, also a former QOR soldier and TCS Old Boy who was killed at the 2nd Battle of Ypres while serving with the 3rd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force.]

Designed by Samuel Hug, in 2022, and constructed by Proto Glass Studios in Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK, the window was given by Marion Hindley, Guy Hindley and Duncan McClaren, in memory of Captain Thomas Alan Staunton.

The dedication was led by the TCS Chaplain Rev Major Don Atchison at the school’s regular Sunday morning service, and attended by members of the family. The QOR was represented by the Regimental Museum’s Director.

Artist’s Statement

Stained glass windows in honour of Captain Thomas Alan Staunton, QOR.

Stained glass windows are dazzling explosions of jewel-like colour, sometimes across vast surfaces, telling stories with universal symbols that can easily be read by the congregation.

These windows are not made in the traditional way, where panels of coloured glass are puzzled together with lead to form a unified window. Instead, they were designed using the programme Procreate on iPad,
hand drawn with a digital stylus. These were then printed onto a transparent layer, which is sandwiched between two panes of glass, which were then cut to size.

This triptych came about as a commemoration of a former pupil Of Trinity College School, Captain Thomas Alan Staunton ’27 -`31. Like many young men of his era, as the world spiralled into war, he lent his
efforts to help his country. Like several of his friends at Trinity College School, he joined The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, landing at Juno Beach in Normandy, France. This successful invasion of the Normandy beaches became known as the D-Day Landings, a pivotal moment in securing eventual victory for the Allied Forces in the Second World War. He was fortunate to survive, but many did not. These panels are made in tribute to him, and the pupils of Trinity College School who fought alongside him.

The three window panels can be `read’ from left to right:

The left panel depicts the bell tower of the chapel and the crest of Trinity College School, entwined with maple leaves. The bell tower marks the march of time – it is later than you think. The maple signifies Canada, of course, but also refers to a coming of age – summer and youth are coming to an end. The leaves turning a deep red, falling from the trees as autumn and winter encroach. The bell tolls – times are changing and challenges are ahead.

The central panel is the landing on Juno Beach, which took place on the 6th of June 1944. The ships on the sunlit water are Canadian ships that actually participated. The blimp-like forms in the sky are barrage balloons, used to block air strikes. The snowflake-like forms on the beach are so-called `Czech Hedgehogs’, which the Germans used as defense against amphibious tanks as they landed on the beach. Among the rocks is the regimental badge of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, and the head of the goddess Juno, who was used as the code name for the beach. Along the three panels, a line continues along the base – this is the coastline of Normandy. The wave on this central panel crashes on Juno beach.

At Juno beach, 340 people died on the Allied side, many of whom were Canadian. The Queen’s Own Rifles suffered 143 casualties, most of any battalion.

The third panel depicts what was lost, and what was won. A Normandy oak stands tall at the height of summer, echoing the curve of the maple in the first panel. A trinity of doves flies up the centre, signifying peace. Rows of graves commemorate the dead, as can be found at the Canadian War cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer, a few miles from Juno Beach. A cross stands in the foreground, wreathed with poppies for remembrance and laurel for victory.

Window designer Samuel Hug and the windows in situ.

You can find other TCS Old Boys who served with The Queen’s Own Rifles here, including three generations of Strathys, and Brigadier General Jock Spragge.

And did you know there was a QOR Cadet Corps at TCS in the late 1980’s and early 90’s?

One thought on “Stained Glass Windows Dedicated”

We welcome your comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.