Artist/Studio: Charles Eamer Kempe, London, England.
Location: Learmonth, Victoria, Australia.
Building: All Saints Church of England, Learmonth.
Memorial: Wilfred Campbell Wilson, Killed in Boer War 1901.
Donor: Wilfred’s brothers, Clarence Chesney Wilson and Herbert Haydon Wilson
Photos dated: 2nd January 2013.
Memorial text on the window reads:
“TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF WILFRID CAMPBELL WILSON, LIEUTENANT NORTHUMBERLAND COMPANY, IMPERIAL YEOMANRY, SECOND SON OF SIR SAMUEL WILSON KT. OF ERCILDOUNE; HIS BROTHERS CLARENCE AND HERBERT DEDICATE THIS WINDOW”.
“HE WAS BORN III [3rd] MARCH MDCCCLXXII  AND ON XX [20th] FEBRUARY MDCCCCI  SUCCUMBED TO WOUNDS RECEIVED AT HEARTEBEESTFONTEIN, IN THE TRANSVAAL, WHILE LEADING HIS SQUADRON INTO ACTION ON XVIII [18TH] FEBRUARY MDCCCCCI ”.
The donors of the window were Wilfred’s brothers, Clarence Chesney Wilson and Herbert Haydon Wilson of ‘Ercildoune’ near Burrumbeet in the west of Victoria. The window depicts St George slaying the Dragon in the left light and St Alban’s in the right light.
“THE LATE LIEUTENANT W. C. WILSON
A MEMORIAL WINDOW.
(From Our Correspondent.)
LEARMONTH, Monday. About twelve months ago a handsome window to the memory of the late Sergeant Vaughan, who was killed in action in the South African was, was unveiled by the Bishop of Ballarat in the Learmonth Church of England. The window is of an elegant design, inscribed with the words “Faithful unto death.” and “On earth peace;” and a brass tablet on the church wall between the two panels, bearing the following inscription – “To the glory of God, and in memory of Charles Vaughan, sergeant Australian Imperial Regiment, killed in action 18th February, 1901, at Haartesbeesfontein, South Africa, aged 32 years. Erected by his brothers and sisters.” Yesterday a window on the opposite side of the church was unveiled to the memory of the late Lieutenant Wilson, who was wounded in the same engagement as Sergeant Vaughan, and died two days afterwards. The ceremony was performed by the Ven. Archdeacon Tucker, the church being crowded. The Archdeacon said – “I unveil this window in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This window was dedicated to the glory of God, and in memory of the late Wilfred Campbell Wilson.” He then preached an eloquently patriotic sermon from the 5th chapter of Judges. The window, which is of a very handsome design, represents on the one panel St. George and the Dragon, and on the other St. Alban’s, across the latter being inscribed – “Stus Alban proto martyr.” The first panel bears the family coat of arms, and in the corner the words – “To the glory of God, and in loving memory of Wilfred Campbell Wilson, Lieutenant Northumberland Company Imperial Yeomanry, second son of Sir Samuel Wilson, Kt., of Ercildoune. His brothers, Clarence and Herbert, dedicated this window.” In a corner of the other panel were inscribed the dates of birth and death of Lieutenant Wilson, The two windows – that in memory of Sergeant Vaughan being executed in Melbourne, and Lieutenant Wilson’s in England – are magnificent ornaments to the church, and very handsome monuments to two illustrious men. The Rev. C. L. H. Rupp conducted the first part of the service. Appropriate hymns were sung. There were present from the Ercildoune Estate the manager, Mr Raleigh, and others, and the relations of the late Sergeant Vaughan were also present.”
The window was made by the English stained glass firm of Charles Eamer Kempe and includes the companies trade-mark ‘Wheat-Sheaf’ symbol in the bottom left quarter of the window near St George’s right foot.
In 1876, their father, Sir Samuel Wilson, also donated the ‘Parables” stained Glass Window to Scots Church in Collins Street Melbourne which was made by Ferguson & Urie. Other Wilson properties, including ‘Longerenong’ and his brother John’s ‘Woodlands’, also had secular stained glass windows by Ferguson & Urie. The chancel window of All Saints at Learmonth is an excellent example of their Gothic work from the 1870s
The craftsman of the window:
Charles Earmer Kempe (1837-1907) established his own studio in London, 1866, a golden Wheat sheaf was used as the firms emblem. When Kempe died, the firm was passed to his nephew Walter Tower, after which the firm was known as C.E. Kempe & Co. Ltd and a black tower was added to the wheat sheaf emblem. The firm closed in 1934.
“A stained glass window made by the firm of Kempe, probably the most famous and artistically influential stained-glass manufacturing company of the Victorian period. The firm was founded by Charles Eamer Kempe (1838-1907), a native of Ovingdean Hall near Brighton. Kempe initially wanted be a priest, but a bad stutter convinced him to express his religious convictions through the artistic medium of stained glass. At first he simply designed the windows, but by 1869 he had become disatisfied with the quality of the glass made for him, and decided to found his own company to both design and manufacture stained glass for churches; the Kempe Studio, which quickly gained a reputation for producing superlative work in a style which was copied throughout the late Victorian period. So prolific was the Kempe Studio that it has been said that there is scarce any place in Britain further than 30 miles from a church with work by Kempe. Kempe windows usually displayed the company trademark – a sheaf of wheat – somewhere in the stained glass pattern. Kempe’s legacy is remembered by the Kempe Society, formed in his name in 1984”.
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