Great East Window: Leicester’s memorial to those that perished in World War One

The Cathedral’s glorious East Window is headed by a radiant, hopeful sun illuminating all things after the difficulties of war.  The lower panels are sorrowful with the dead body of Jesus lain beneath the bold, dark wood of the cross.  Mary, his mother standing, receives her dead son.  St John and the other Mary in the gospel story flank the other side of his body, as together they form a new human family borne out of suffering.  Above sits the enthroned and ascended Christ, risen in glory and ministered by the Host of Heaven.  Wherever we look in this window – whether into the images of sorrow or victory – God’s glory seems to shine, bringing transformation and hope.

 

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Left: St George of England
Right: St Michael, patron saint of Belgium

 

East Window detail
From left to right: St Joan of Arc for France with the Cloth Hall in Ypres burning standing for France and all that women did in the Great War; The Blessed Mother is represented with two war-orphans – a young figure in khaki recalls the youth of the nation sacrificed for victory; Mary receives her dead son remembering Mothers down the ages who have had to do the same; St John and the other Mary together form a  new human family borne out of suffering; St Martin of Tours, patron saint of soldiers

Designed and made by Christopher Whall (1849-1924), Hammersmith, 1920, in grateful memory of parishioners and worshippers who fell in the Great War 1914-1919. 

St George’s Chapel and The Regimental Chapel

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At the West end of the Cathedral is St George’s Chapel, created after the South African wars at the end of the 19th century.  It remains a place where those who served with the Royal Leicestershire Regiment are remembered.  The regiment is now amalgamated with the Royal Anglians and has recently been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Leicestershire Regiment’s rugby club remains proudly independent, having taken the name ‘Tigers’ from the regimental badge.

Also located in St George’s Chapel is a crucifix (pictured below), saved from the burning Ypres Cathedral during the Battle of Ypres in September 1917 by Private Herbert Orton of the Leicestershire Regiment.

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