CAMPAIGNERS intend to install a stained glass window at the church where Sir Winston Churchill is buried, to mark 50 years since his death.

St Martin’s Church, in Bladon, has raised £10,000 of £30,000 to help mark a year of milestones for the wartime Prime Minister.

It marks his January 24 death, 75 years since he became PM on May 10, 1940 and the Battle of Britain from June to September that year.

Bladon Parish Council chairman Robert Courts has helped set up the project and is a member of the global Churchill Centre to remember the ex-PM.

He said: “We wanted to do something to mark what will be the major anniversary of the greatest Briton.

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“Churchill is part of the church’s identity. It’s famous for being the last resting place of Churchill and we are very clear that we are custodians of the grave site and the care of his memory.

“We get hundreds, possibly thousands, of visitors each year from all over the world.

The window will include badges of the regiments with which Churchill served, some of his quotes and best loved motifs and achievements.

It includes a vignette of him touring a wartime dockyard, on the banks of Germany’s river Rhine in 1945 and a black and white Union Flag.

Churchill asked to be buried at St Martin’s because his father and mother, Lord Randolph and Lady Randolph Churchill, were also buried there, and he wanted to be buried in a country churchyard close to his birthplace at Blenheim Palace.

Mr Courts added: “It’s what he wanted it to be. He wanted to be buried in a proper English church rather than in Westminster Abbey but there’s nothing inside the church that’s a memorial to him.

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Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine in 1952

“So we thought it’s 50 years, it’s about time we had something striking.”

He said: “You don’t get an opportunity to contribute to a lasting memorial like this very often.”

The window will contain some of Churchill’s most famous quotes including: “Never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty”; “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory”; and “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

After a state funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Winston’s body was taken by train to Hanborough station, then place in a hearse for the short journey to the church – which has about 70 worshippers.

Sir Winston’s parents, younger brother John, children Diana, Randolph and Sarah and son-in-law Christopher Soames are also buried there.

The Rector of Woodstock and Bladon, the Rev Adrian Daffern, said he was thrilled with the window, designed by London’s Emma Blount.

He said: “This is a great opportunity for us to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of one of the most remarkable leaders the world has ever had.

“It is a privilege for us to be the guardians of his final resting place.”

Window design traces Churchill's life

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The design for the memorial window

The window is divided into two ‘lights’. The left hand “St Martin light” features the cap badge of the Queen’s Own 4th Hussars, of which Churchill was a colonel between 1941 and his death.

Vines and grapes form the background and St Martin the patron saint of soldiers is depicted.

At the foot of the light is a vignette of Churchill touring a wartime dockyard, cheered by workers.

The right hand ‘St Alban light’ features the badges of the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, with the cap badge for the Harrow Rifles at the top of each light, all regiments with which Churchill served.

The footing of this light shows Sir Winston, Field Marshall Montgomery and General Alan Brooke, Churchill's military adviser, on the banks of the River Rhine in Germany at the end of the Second World War.

The border symbols include a Spitfire fighter place, a book written by Churchill, Churchill playing polo, Churchill's’s bowtie, the portcullis of the House of Commons and Union Flag in black and white.

There is also an evacuee child with a label and a suitcase, red poppies, a tank, a gas mask, the St George’s flag in colour, the V for Victory salute, and Churchill’s cigar and paint brushes.

Running throughout the coloured background to both lights are quotations from Sir Winston’s speeches and writings.

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