ST GILES – THOMPSON MEMORIAL WINDOW

This window was formerly the central window (7) in the George Chapel until it was replaced by the Second World War Memorial Window. The window is in two main lights, depicting Melchisedek and Jesus, the good shepherd. In the Bible, Melchisedek was a priest and king, perhaps even superior to Abraham, and Jesus is identified as a high priest of the order of Melchisedek. Under the main figures is a representation of the Annunciation. By the Virgin Mary are the words “Ave Maria gratia plena” (Hail Mary, full of grace.)

At the foot of the window is the dedication: “To the Glory of the Risen Christ and in loving memory of Albert Thompson. Died November 9th 1913. This window is erected by his business associates.”

As Jesse Boot’s chain of chemist shops started to grow, he found help in the form of a young man from Belfast by the name of Albert Thompson, whom he appointed as his General Manager. Thompson went on to become Boot’s right-hand man, not only as a Director of the Boots company but also as the confidential servant of Sir Jesse and Lady Boot.1 He died at the age of 51, having suffered a slight stroke a year earlier, since when he had not been active in the business.

On the day of his funeral, 13th November, the whole of Boots’ warehouses and shops were closed from noon to 4 o’clock to enable the employees to be present. There was “an impressive service in the West Bridgford Parish Church, the accommodation of which was taxed to the uttermost”. Following the service, the route from the church to the Rock Cemetery in Nottingham was, in many places, thickly lined with people. At Bluecoat Street a large company of male employees joined the funeral cortège, while at the cemetery gates, where Sir Jesse Boot awaited in his motor car, another big assembly of employees and friends swelled the long procession. In the cemetery itself there was a crowd several thousands in number.2

Thompson was a convinced Churchman and, for some time, was a member of the church council at St Giles’. Although he was a manager of the local schools, and was interested in local affairs, he took no active part in public life. He was an excellent shot and was greatly interested in miniature rifle shooting.3

References
1. Robert Mellers Old Nottingham suburbs: then and now pub 1914
2. Nottingham Evening Post 13th November 1913
3. Nottingham Evening Post 10th November 1913

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