Framed print of Holy Communion battlefield service
The framed lithograph shows a group of soldiers kneeling before a makeshift altar during World War One in Flanders field with a Red Cross flying on a flag pole at the far right of the composition. A Union Jack flag is being used as an improvised altar cloth. A Chaplain in a surplice, also a soldier, administers the sacrament to the reverent congregation. It came from St. Saviour’s Church when it was virtually ransacked by vandals and not having any value was left lying on the floor.
The original was painted by William Yates Holt Titcomb (1858-1930). He was a professional painter and one of his specialties was religious paintings. The original is in Clifton College Chapel, Bristol. It is possible that it was painted in memory of his son Francis Holt Yates Titcomb who attended that school and was a Probationary Flight Officer in the Royal Naval Air Service and who died on 15th April 1917.
It has been said that the portraits of the soldiers are of Francis’s school friends.