Ch.8 War Memorials

Anglican Church Glen Innes

A Memorial Cross in memory of the late Peter Turnbull who was a distinguished airman, was given to the Church.  Funds were scarce due to the aftermath of the war years. However, in 1946 funds from the army and public subscription raised enough money to install the major stained glass eastern window.

The stained glass window was constructed for the sum of £600.  Its dimensions are 14 feet(420 centimetres) by 10 feet(300 centimetres). Its designer was John Radecki, an 81 year old Polish born craftsman. When the window was created he was the oldest practising craftsman in that trade.

The window is a memorial to the fallen of World War 11 and as a thanks offering for those who returned.   The window shows the Crucifixion of Christ together with a nurse and servicemen of the Australian Defence Forces. The installation took six months to complete.  From The Australian Women’s Weekly 7th September 1946.  “In 1885 John Radecki as a young artist, was taken on by the firm John Ashwin & Co in Sydney, New South Wales. He had worked in Europe for a firm of stained glass manufacturers before migrating to Australia where he found work as a coalminer with his father. He spoke Polish, English, German and a fairly fluent brand of Australian.”

Stained glass windows, although scientifically proofed in the making against the weather, are anticipated to deteriorate and after 60 years may require attention. This was an accurate assessment and the restoration of the window was needed after 50 years.  In the late 1990’s a wonderful achievement by the parishioners raised $15 000 to restore the window.  Fortunately a local glazier, Greville Wilton possessed the necessary skills to accomplish the task.


 An awesome, patterned picture of lead with coloured glass between  Of Christ at Calvary crucified… Portrays an eerie scene.  Caressed by the morning sun…  Humble compassion is shared…By servicemen with heavy hearts…For the Christ who cared.  A backdrop of a dry stone wall…Laced by rosemary and palm, Stark is the ‘Cross of the Crucifixion’… Carried in the stillness and calm. This Sacrificial picture of so long ago… Is portrayed time and time again… And Mankind never seems to learn… About Tolerance, Compassion and Pain.       

John Mathew