Christ Church, with its neo-Gothic elements, was the first church to be built in Simla and the second in the whole of northern India. Its architect, Colonel J. T. Boileau, went out to India with the Bengal Engineers in December 1822. He worked for the PWD and never fought, attaining the rank of Colonel in 1855, and retiring as Hon. Major-General in 1857 ("Notes"). An astronomer and gifted architect, he had already designed St George's, the cantonment church in Agra, as well as several other important buildings there, and made repairs to historic structures in the area — including the Taj Mahal. Boileaugunj, a township of Shimla, is named after him and his brother, a fellow-engineer in the North-West Provinces (Kanwar 27).
This church has a Kipling connection: its original chancel window was designed by the writer's father, Lockwood Kipling, who is said to have made a fresco for it as well. Lockwood had a long connection with Simla: in the 1876 season, for instance, he was summoned to see Lord Lytton about the design of banners for an upcoming "Imperial Assemblage" in Delhi; and in 1885, he was there refurbishing the residence of the Governor of the Punjab. Lady Dufferin, the then Viceroy's wife, sent her daughters to him for art lessons (Allen 192).
Among the notable windows in the church now are those depicting the virtues (in all, Faith, Charity, Hope, Fortitude, Patience and Humility). The Viceroy's pews are still labelled, and one of the many touching memorials is to the wife of a later Viceroy, Lord Hardinge. Hardinge, the guiding light behind the creation of the new stately capital in New Delhi with its beautiful Lutyens buildings, was by all accounts a rather stiff and starchy man, but he had married his cousin Winifred ("Bena") against much opposition, and the marriage had turned out well. He was devastated by her death, so much so that for years "no one dared mention his name in her presence and it was only his iron will that kept him at his post...."(Prior). The memorial is near where he would have sat in the church.
Another rather fine memorial is to Lt-General Sir Gerald de Courcy Morton, once Adjutant-General of the Indian Army. "Noble" and "simple" he may have been amongst his comrades, but he was also the figure behind the development of the notorious dumdum bullet, which "expanded on impact like those used in big game hunting." This seemed unethical, but was justified by Surgeon Major J. B. Hamilton and Sir John Ardagh at the Hague in 1899, on the grounds that the "savage, like the tiger" needed to be stopped in his tracks (O'Connell 232)
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