THE D-Day exploits of York’s Normandy veterans are to be commemorated by a stained glass window at a York church.

Helen Whitaker, of Barley Studios in Dunnington, is creating the window for St Lawrence’s Church in Lawrence Street.

She said its design had been inspired by the memories and recollections of surviving veterans from the York area and paid tribute to their inspiring spirit of comradeship, irrespective of rank or position.

A church spokesman said: “We are very proud of our relationship with the York Normandy Veterans, and delighted that we will have a lasting memorial to the effort and sacrifice of those from York who strove to liberate Europe and secure our freedom and peace.”

He said the window commemorated the landings and the Normandy Campaign, as seen through the eyes of the last surviving veterans, and their co-ordinator, Nick Beilby, had been working with the church to install the window there.

The artwork was 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 could be seen waiting inside a landing craft at the dramatic moment when the armoured doors opened and the ramp was 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.”

He said the veterans had led fundraising towards the £8,000 estimated cost but were hoping for donations, and cheques payable to “York Normandy Veterans Window Fund” could be sent to St Lawrence Parish Church Hall, Lawrence Street.