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The church was decorated with Easter lilies and pink roses and the entrance to each pew marked by a cluster of lilies. Palms were placed in pew openings and stood at various points to create a natural chapel. Upon the altar more lilies and roses. The war had limited the number of guests in attendance but even so Emmanuel Church on April 21, 1915 was filled with those wishing well the bride and groom, Leslie Hawthorne Lindsey of Boston and Stewart Southam Mason of England.

william lindsey, father of the bride, and daughter leslie lindsey

The bride wore white satin made with rose point lace and garnitures of small clusters of orange blossoms. The flowers held in place a veil of Limerick lace made especially for Miss Lindsey in Ireland the previous year. She carried a bouquet of white orchids and jasmine. Her wedding party wore shades of blue and pink silk, their gowns adorned by rosebuds. The bride maids carried baskets of pink sweet peas.

After the ceremony, there was a reception in the Bay State Road home of the bride’s father, William Lindsey. The bride’s mother now wore blue silk in a shade known as moonlight embroidered with baskets of silver. Flowers prevailed, decorating each room, smilax in the hallway, greenery entwining railings and baskets of roses on the stairs. Bells rung in celebration on both sides of the Atlantic as everyone knew that soon the bride and groom would return to his home in England and all they need do was board the Lusitania.

rms lusitania

rms lusitania

The RMS Lusitania would depart New York for Liverpool on May 1, 1915. On May 7, it would be torpedoes and sunk by a German U-boat. At least 1, 198 passengers and crew would die, including newlyweds Leslie Lindsey and Stewart Mason.  When the body of Leslie was returned to her father she wore the jewels that her father had given her.

A heartbroken father would do several things over the years in memory of his lovely daughter, one of which was to buy a piece of property adjacent to that of Emmanuel Church in 1919.  A chapel would be built. Begun in 1920, the structure would be finished in 1924.

The chapel was designed by the architectural firm Allen & Collins. John Ninian Comper (1864-1960) designed the chapel’s decorative scheme from the altar to the chapel’s signature stained glass windows. Sadly, William Lindsey did not see the finished chapel. His youngest daughter shared memories of seeing her father sitting across the street watching the building’s construction and knowing he would not live to see it completed.

Sources and Further Reading

History of Lindsey Chapel on Emmanuel Church website

Boston Evening Transcript, April 21, 1915

John Ninian Comper

Emmanuel Church building information

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I had the honor of attending a beautiful wedding this weekend and taking some photos.  One of my favorite images taken — aside from the happy people — was of the wedding cake.  I don’t know the full story behind its creation, but the end result was spectacular.  Soft white creamy goodness topped by the rich dark fruits of the season.

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