West Memorial Window

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Reference WMO258452

Address:

St Matthew's Church

Anlaby Road

Hull

HU3 2TA

England

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Status: Damaged
Type: Non freestanding
Location: Internal
Setting: Attached to a building/structure
Description: Stained glass window
Materials:
  • Glass Stained Glass
  • Stone Stone (any)
  • Stone Marble
Lettering: Inscribed on a plaque
Conflicts:
  • First World War (1914-1918)
About the memorial: The West window, along with two tablets listing the names of 138 members of the congregation of St Matthew’s who were killed in the Great War, was unveiled and dedicated by the Bishop of Hull on 4 July 1922.5 The window consists of four trefoil-headed lights in the lower register, with quatrefoil plate tracery above, surmounted by an octofoil window surrounded by smaller quatrefoil and circular openings. The lower register of four lights depicts two members of the armed forces, army and navy, in the two centre lights, flanked by four female figures in the outer lights. The female figures are depicted in the manner of the Virgin Mary (to the left) and Mary Magdalene (to the right) at the Crucifixion. Behind each is a female companion acknowledging their suffering, and by extension in this context acknowledging the suffering of all those who watched their sons and loved ones go off to war. Placing the servicemen in place of the Crucifixion pays tribute to the ultimate sacrifice made by so many during the Great War 1914-18. Two marble plaques inside the church list the 139 men of the parish who fell in the First World War. There is a great deal of damage to this window, especially to the lower register lights. Much of the damage (glass fractures and losses) appears to result from impacts, suggesting malicious damage over a long period and supporting the decision to remove the window to safety now that the building is unoccupied. Although the damage is extensive, much of the glass survives. In particular, all of the figure heads are complete and most are intact; major losses are confined to background areas and drapery. Damage to the upper register lights is mostly confined to the lobes surrounding the central circle with occasional cracks and losses elsewhere. Where the glass is intact it is in good condition with no signs of corrosion or other deterioration. There are no obvious previous repairs, thus it appears that the surviving glass is all original. The glass surfaces are very dirty, with a film of black sooty deposits on the internal surface and much dirt on the external surface. The window, having suffered vandalism after the church closed in 2013 was removed in 2015 and placed in secure storage.
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