United Kingdom



British Padre G. Smith, photo from the 1800’s.


World War I


The Last General Absolution of the Munsters at Rue du Bois

Irish chaplain, Francis Gleeson (on horse) is highlighted in “The Last General Absolution of the Munster Fusiliers at Rue du Bois” (8 May 1915, the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers) by Fortunio Matania, which was commissioned by Jessie Louisa Rickard. The original was destroyed during the bombing of London in World War II.


Kut Relief troops worship service

1916: “Prayers before battle. Members of the Kut relief force attend an open-air service conducted by an Army chaplain amid the luxurious vegetation of the Tigris Valley. The trenches can be seen in the foreground” (from “The War Illustrated,” 29 April 1916).


WW1 Western Front Worship Service

WW1 on the Western Front. British impromptu Sunday worship service under fire (author’s collection).




Lord Bishop of London

Arthur Winnington-Ingram, the Lord Bishop of London, chaplain to the London Rifle Brigade, WW1.


WW1 British Chaplain

British Chaplain (and nurse), WW1.


WW1 British Chaplain on plane

“Religion at a British Aerodrome on the Western Front: A chaplain conducting a service from the body of an Aeroplane. Army chaplains at the Front have to adapt themselves to circumstances. While the spirit of their teaching remains the same, its external accessories vary greatly according to circumstances. The ‘church,’ the ‘altar,’ and the ‘pulpit’ take strange forms. Thus services have been held in caves, in Nissen huts, in the ruins of wrecked villages and so on. Here is yet another variety of ‘church,’ in which the Padre is seen using an aeroplane as his pulpit” (from “The Illustrated London News,” Sept. 28, 1918).



“This impressive picture shows a Church of England service on the battlefield for troops going into the trenches, the Chaplain officiating from a small field altar. Daily Mail Battle Pictures. Official War Photographs, Crown Copyright Reserved, Series I, No. 3.” (author’s collection).


British Chaplain Hooge Cemetery

“The care for the graves of the gallant dead: A British chaplain to the forces consecrating an extension of the Hooge Crater Cemetery, near Ypres” (from “The Illustrated London News,” April 1919, edited).

WW1 British Chaplain

Un-named WW1 Chaplain at desk.


Between Wars

British ship Keppel 1930

“Sea service for flying-boat victims. The scene on board the destroyer Keppel in Plymouth Sound during the memorial service conducted by the Rec. A.G. Kick, the Wesleyan Chaplain, for the victims of the flying-boat disaster, over the spot where the machine sank. All branches of the Services were represented at the funeral in the town.”


World War II



Original caption: “British soldiers taking part in the African campaign kneel in the desert in Bardia, Libya, Jan. 26, 1941 for a Christmas sunrise mass.” (AP Photo)



Modern Era


British Chaplain

British Royal Army Chaplains Department, 1993 (author’s collection).

  1. Pastor Dabney

    Can anyone tell me the color of the stripe on the WW1 epulettes were? I know base color must be purple but I cannot find information on the stripe.


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