DIARY: Went ashore to Church with Haigh and Pegler in morning. Afternoon went ashore and rowed round harbour at Sinlea. Had tea and went to view S. John’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, a most splendid and beautiful church, containing a small chapel and altar of every great nation. Ceiling very beautifully painted by an Italian artist. Splendid paintings and sculptures and carvings and also a famous painting of the beheading of John the Baptist by Michael Angelo. Then went to Red Cross Rest and tumbled against Eric Hall of Droylsden. Had a yarn and he informed me that Waygood, Entwhistle, Rennard and Hopkinson were in Malta. Went to Garrison Church and heard Bishop of Buckingham preach. Saw Waygood & Co after service. Stayed with them all evening and compared notes. Like a touch of the old times.
Henrietta Sandford, James’s Great Niece, outside St John’s Cathedral in October 2015:
James refers to the painting of the Beheading of John the Baptist, actually painted by Caravaggio, in 1608. It is the only work to bear his signature drawn in the blood spilling from the Baptist’s throat.