Stunning new tribute to wartime sacrifice unveiled at church
PUBLISHED: 13:41 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:41 23 April 2019
Tribute has been paid to a Norfolk village's First World War sacrifice in the form of a new church window, depicting a Tommy.
The stained-glass artwork at All Saints Church in Shipdham, near Dereham, was unveiled at an Easter Sunday service following four years of work by community volunteers.
The Right Reverend Jonathan Meyrick, Bishop of Lynn, officially dedicated the window, and team vicar, the Rev'd Gill Wells, said: “As we remembered the end of the Great War last year, on the one hundredth anniversary, the idea of creating a lasting memorial to the men of Shipdham who gave their lives in that war took root, and gained momentum throughout this community.
“A window in the church, in the centre of the village, became the right and most fitting place, and so the idea of a memorial window was born. Having seen the window in place I am humbled by the efforts of the whole community in bringing this project to fruition.
“The stunning window has made All Saints Church even more beautiful.”
The window is part of a wider peace centenary memorial project, which involved Shipdham History Group researching and writing the life histories of all the men from the village who died.
The life stories grew into a book during the course of the project called Shipdham in the Great War. A timeline of the village from 1908 to 1922, it was published to coincide with the centenary of the Armistice last November.
Profits from the book will go to a First World War windows' fund, bolstered by grants for printing and publication from Shipdham Parish Council and Breckland Council.
Devlin Plummer Stained Glass of Great Moulton designed, built and installed the window.
Paul Hewett, Shipdham parish councillor and chairman of the Shipdham First World War committee, said: “Devlin Plummer did a marvellous job in capturing the sense of moment and loss in great detail on the soldier's face and uniform.
“Shipdham History Group wrote a brilliant book about those in the community at the time.
“With so many people helping this has proved a real community effort.”