York Normandy Veterans
In November 2020, a new stained glass window was installed in the church. The window commemorates the role of the York Normandy Veterans on D-Day and in the Normandy Campaign. The window was made by nationally acclaimed stained glass artist Helen Whittaker of Barley Studios, who works just outside of York.
The artwork is divided horizontally into three tiers; land, sea and sky, representing respectively the British Army, the Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force, working together in the largest Combined Armed Forces operation to date.
At the heart of the design, two men can be seen waiting inside a landing craft at the dramatic moment when the armoured doors open and the ramp is lowered. Their backpacks proudly bear the badge of the City of York Normandy Veterans (YNV). In the distance, we can see the smoke of battle over the sea and the Normandy shore. The men are both excited and terrified, but determined; ‘it was all new … like a boy scout adventure’.
One of the men turns back, gesturing to his comrade in support and offering strength and trust, so they can face the coming assault together.
The base of the design features words taken from the hymn Judge Eternal, Throned in Splendour: “and the homestead and the woodlands plead in silence for their peace”.
The making of the window featured in a documentary, “Made in Britain” series 3 episode 4, shown on ITV4 on Thursday 15th April 2021. The show is viewable here.