Loretto marks moment of reconciliation

Loretto School has commissioned a stained-glass window to commemorate the 1914 Christmas truce on the Western Front

A specially commissioned stained-glass window has been installed in Loretto School’s chapel to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1914 Christmas truce and is to be unveiled by relatives of British and German officers involved.

The window was created by Haddington-based artist Kate Henderson. Its inspiration was the meeting of former Loretto pupil Major Archibald Buchanan-Dunlop and his German counterpart. Their historic handshake was a gesture during the extraordinary event of the Christmas truce in Ypres. The positive image of enemy soldiers at peace is juxtaposed with 148 poppies, representing all those Old Lorettonians lost in the conflict. The phrase around the shield reads ‘Gloria in excelsis deo et in terra pax’ (‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace’). The official unveiling of the stained-glass window will take place during special commemorative service in the Loretto chapel on Saturday 20 December at 11.45am.

The grandsons of Archibald Buchanan-Dunlop and Hauptmann Maximilian Freiherr (Baron) von Sinner (the commanding officer of the machine-gun company of the Prussian 6th Jäger Battalion who was also involved in the Christmas truce) will come together and unveil the stained-glass window together in what promises to be a poignant act of reconciliation.

Jonathan Hewat, director of external affairs at Loretto School, said: “We all grew up with the story of soldiers from both sides putting down their arms on Christmas Day 1914, and it remains wholly relevant today as a message of hope over adversity, even in the bleakest of times. We are delighted to be welcoming to the service relatives of two soldiers involved in this most famous of truces.” 



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