Design Explanation for WAAF Window, St. Giles' Church, Stanton St. Quintin
The new window commemorates and celebrates the lives of the women of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). One hundred other ranks (O/R) WAAFs were stationed at Stanton Court, next door to the church during the second world war.
Amongst the many essential jobs that they fulfilled were radio operators that communicated with the training aircraft at the Empire Central Flying School (ECFS) at the nearby Hullavington airfield.
The window design shows the airfield with a large hanger in the left hand light and opposite is the control tower. On the runway an Airspeed Oxford is being worked upon by WAAF mechanics while other training aircraft - Miles Master, Percival Proctor and Supermarine Spitfire await attention.
The straight lines of the runway lead vertically to join the rotation of the aircraft (Airspeed Oxfords, Avro Ansons and Hawker Hurricans) as they complete their many hours of training (circuits and bumps).
The circular lead lines in the design also relate to the RAF roundel.
In the background to the aerial scene are the distinctive shapes of radio waves showing electrical field lines.
At the head of the window and coming down from the Alpha and Omega symbols in the tracery is the New Jerusalem as mentioned in Revelation chapter 21. The semi-circular movements across the design signify the descending Holy City. This meeting between the heavenly and earthly realms in the air looks forward to the end of time when “the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them and be their God” (Rev 21.3). This theme also relates to two other windows in the church which focus on the Water of Life (Rev 22.1) and the Tree of Life (Rev 22.2).
At the base of the design is the Latin motto of the ECFS and WAAF tunic eagle badges.
Above this the WAAF initials are overlaid with the dedication to the O/Rs that served during WW2 flanked by the WAAF and ECFS badges,
In the outer borders are the “auxiliary” A badge and the WAAF badges of rank ranging from leading aircraft woman to corporal, sergeant and flight sergeant.
Peter Berry AMGP April 2018
Location: St. Giles Church, Stanton St. Quintin, Chippenham, Wiltshire