Derbyshire War Memorials
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Memorial Title

G F Marsden Smedley


Derbyshire War Memorials: a description of a WW1 war memorial window to 2Lt George F Marsden Smedley in Christ Church, Holloway, Derbyshire.
Setting Location Memorial Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image.
Further images may be available on request.
Last known location:
Christ Church
Church St
Nearest postcode:

SK 32318 56958
(From online digital mapping.)
(Map opens in new window.)
Location details:
The memorial is in the east window.
Overall type: Window. Overall condition: Very good. The inscription is legible and the memorial is well cared for.


A five light stained glass window with cusped reticulated tracery and with intricate and very colourful designs throughout. Within the tracery, the top centre pane depicts the Virgin Mary in blue robes and holding the baby Jesus. This is flanked by a pair of panes with images of angels, also in blue robes, gathering up jewels which represent the souls of the departed. Below those, a row of four quatrefoil panes reflect scenes from George Marsden Smedley's young life: planting walnuts in the garden, red squirrels playing, the Aurora Borealis and Horris Hill and Harrow schools. The five lights represent Biblical and mythical scenes further representing George's life. Left to right, these are: St George in golden armour, having defeated the green dragon; Jacob, in purple and gold, wrestling with the angel in gold, white and red; Jacob's dream of the ladder leading to the stars; David, in purple, red and gold, holding his sling; and the Archangel Michael, in gold, blue, red and green. The four outer lights each bear a text on a scroll at their foot, and the dedication is inscribed in a narrow band across the foot in upright capital lettering.


WindowStained glassc3900c2900-Very Good
Dimensions in millimetres ±5mm unless stated otherwise.
First light:Second light:Fourth light:Fifth light:
Of whom the world
was not worthy
I will not let thee go
except thou bless me
I come in the name of
the Lord of Hosts
They loved not their
lives unto the death

Conflicts and people named:
ConflictFirst World War (1914-1919)Totals
Action or eventFirst Battle of the Somme
(1 Jly - 18 Nov 1916)
Number died11
Number served and returned00
Total names11
Custodian: Presumed to be the parochial church council

Local authorities:
From WW1: Dethick, Lea and Holloway Parish Council, Belper Rural District Council; Derbyshire County Council.
From 1974: Dethick, Lea and Holloway Parish Council, Amber Valley Borough Council; Derbyshire County Council.
History and Conservation
c1920: The window had originally been designed by Percy Currey FRIBA, architect, of Derby and was intended to be a relatively simple design, but when the church was under construction he modified the tracery to suit the memorial which had been proposed by then.

c1921: The memorial window was designed by Louis Davis, stained glass artist of Pinner, with input by George's parents John Bertram and Gertrude Marsden Smedley. It was made by Thomas Cowell, stained glass artist and designer, of Surbiton, London. It was paid for by John Bertram Marsden Smedley

July, 1921: The window was installed.

8th October, 1922: The memorial was dedicated by Rt Rev Charles T Abraham, Bishop Suffragan of Derby.

14th August,1985: The church was listed Grade II*, Heritage List for England number 1335315. The window is mentioned in the listing description.

23rd December, 1996: The Dethick, Lea and Holloway Conservation Area was first designated. The church lies within it.

December, 2001: The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site was inscribed. The church lies within the Buffer Zone.

3rd November, 2018: The memorial was surveyed by Roy Branson. It was in very good condition and well cared for.
Dennis Brook, edited by Jane Middleton-Smith; The Story of the Early Years of Christ Church, Holloway; John Smedley Archive Charitable Trust; 2017; pp66-68: an account of the design and installation of the memorial window.

Derby Telegraph; 29th October, 1922; p2: a report of the dedication service.
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Page © Roy Branson