This is York's 'stunning' stained glass window made in tribute to Normandy veterans
A group of York veterans from the Normandy campaign during World War Two have raised money to achieve their dream of a stained glass window showing the operation as soon through the eyes of those who fought in it.
Ken Cooke, 95, Sid Metcalfe, 97 and Douglas Petty, 97, campaigned to make the idea a reality along with fellow Normandy veterans Ken Smith and Bert Barritt, who have since died.
But this week Mr Cooke, Mr Metcalfe and Mr Petty, visited stained glass company Barley Studios in Dunnington, York, to see the completed window designed by artist-designer Helen Whittaker.
The window was installed at St Lawrence Parish Church on Wednesday ahead of lockdown and was enthusiastically received by the three veterans.
Mr Cooke said the design was “brilliant and far better than we ever expected". he added: "Everyone who had anything to do with it will be delighted with the outcome.”
Mr Metcalfe said: “Marvellous, amazing and the window shows things that I never expected to see.”
And Mr Petty said: “It is wonderful to have a lasting memorial to the people I knew and those who lost their lives in Bomber Command.
"This stunning piece of work also shows the sacrifice of the men from the army, navy and airforce working together to give us the freedom we have today.”
The design was inspired by the memories of surviving veterans from York, as described in the verbatim play Bomb Happy by Helena Fox, and pays tribute to their spirit of comradeship, irrespective of rank or position.
Ms Whittaker said: “I found it incredibly inspiring to hear directly from these amazing men as they related their experiences of the D-Day landings with such humour and humility.
“It has been a great honour to create a stained glass window with their blessing, recognising and immortalising the York Normandy Veterans.”
Donations are being sought towards the £8000 cost of the window, and the veterans have led a significant amount of fundraising. Readers can support the campaign via cheques made out to “York Normandy Veterans Window Fund” and sent to St Lawrence Parish Church Hall, Lawrence Street, York, YO10 3WP. Or send via bank transfer to the “York Normandy Veterans Memorial Window Fund” at Lloyds Bank, sortcode 30-63-64 account number 5481 5868.