Battlefeilds depicted in new stain glass window for World War I trail

PUBLISHED: 08:57 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:25 12 July 2018

Jon Messum with his stain glass window for the World War 1 Trail in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: RUSSELL COOK

Jon Messum with his stain glass window for the World War 1 Trail in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: RUSSELL COOK


Intricate etchings along with delicate, passionate and time consuming work has gone into creating an imaginative stain-glass lead-lined piece of artwork for the World War I Trail, in Bury St Edmunds.

Jon Messum with the design for his stain glass window for the World War 1 Trail in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: RUSSELL COOKJon Messum with the design for his stain glass window for the World War 1 Trail in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: RUSSELL COOK

It features battle scenes of the conflict right through to up-to-date scenes of the area covered with trees and green fields.

Jon Messum, who operates his stained glass and lead lights business from his workshop in Assington Road, Bures, is the creator of the latest piece for the trail which is being organised by the My WiSH Charity and Our Bury St Edmunds, the business improvement district (BID) in the town.

It is aiming to raise £500,000 for the Every Heart Matters appeal to help create a fully integrated cardiac centre at the West Suffolk Hospital and the window, which is being sponsored by Chassic Cabs, in Bury St Edmunds, is to hang in the town’s Moyse’s Hall Museum.

Jon, who specialises in creating windows for listed and decorative buildings, said the inspiration for the work came from research he carried out into the 1914-18 war.

Every Heart Matters logoEvery Heart Matters logo

“I had it in my mind what I wanted to do even though I have never been to the battlefield but I took inspiration from the images that I uncovered,” he said.

The 3ft 6in wide by 1ft 4in high window features a host of items associated with the fighting including a shell blast, an explosion, soldiers, a gun carriage, a shattered wheel and transforms into trees, green fields, birds flying along with poppies dotted in each corner.

Etched round the perimeter is: 1918 One hundred years on 2018 … We Will Remember Them.

“As soon as it came into my mind about the work I just wanted to show the horrors of war and what it’s achieved. I have depicted it how the battlefields may look like now,” he said.

World War 1 Trail logo~1-b-e-b-aWorld War 1 Trail logo~1-b-e-b-a

The job has been painstaking, but patience is a key skill for Jon. “I sometimes relead pieces and you are taking apart lead that could be three to four hundred years old and the glass is the same. Some of it is so thin and fragile.”

The trail will feature 18 pieces, commissioned by local artists and sculptors, dotted in prime town centre sites and will be on show from July 21, through to Armistice Day, on November 11. At the culmination of the trail an auction will take place to sell off all of the pieces with funds going to the My WiSH Charity’s Every Heart Matters appeal.

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2m in developing a state of the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 My WiSH Charity is hoping to raise will lead to the whole unit, which is currently fragmented on different floors, being brought together in one purpose-built centre.

Treatt, the leading beverage ingredient solutions manufacturer based in Bury St Edmunds, will be the main sponsor for the trail, and Daemmon Reeve, group CEO, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to support this ambitious and exciting project which remembers the bravery of those who fought in World War One and is also helping to raise the £500,000 needed to fund the brand new cardiac centre at the hospital.”

If you want to support the Every Heart Matters appeal go to the website and if you would like to donate to the appeal you can do so here or text EHMA17 £10 to 70070.


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