ARMISTICE 2018: Stained glass poppy tribute in Gosport hospital

THE heroic sacrifice of armed forces personnel has been immortalised in the hospital that they helped build.

Friday, 9th November 2018, 9:47 pm
Updated Monday, 12th November 2018, 10:11 am
Mary Knapman, a committee member with the Gosport War Memorial League of Friends, admiring the stained glass panels Picture: Sarah Standing (180821-9450)

Yesterday evening, a stained glass memorial was unveiled at Gosport's War Memorial Hospital in Bury Road, ahead of this weekend's commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The hospital was built in part with contributions from the Royal Marines and stands as a memorial to the dead to this day.

The stained glass, crafted by Sunrise Stained Glass in Southsea, was commissioned by the hospital's League of Friends which wanted to do special something to mark the occasion.

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Speaking at the unveiling, Brenda Sharp said: 'It looks absolutely marvellous and I'm delighted so many people turned up to see the lights switched on. 

'I think the founder of the hospital, Frank Chandler, would be very proud of how it is today. 

'Having something like this is so important to remember the sacrifice of those brave men.'

Switching on the light, which illuminate the stained glass panels against the hospital wall, was Colonel Jeff Moulton from the Royal Marines.

He said: 'When I was invited to come here I did a bit of research into the Royal Marines and their involvement in building the hospital. 

'There has been a long-lasting link between us and Gosport so I am honoured to have been invited. 

'To me, this stained glass memorial represents a reaffirmation of that bond between the Royal Marines and this hospital, and on the cusp of the centenary celebrations this weekend, it couldn't have happened at a better time.'

The mayor of Gosport, Councillor Diane Furlong, said: 'I think it is incredible. 

'We take our freedom for granted these days '“ from listening to music to going out sailing '“ but if these incredible people hadn't done what they did then we simply wouldn't have that today. 

'That is why this memorial is so important. 

'What's more, everyone will walk through this hallway and so everybody will see it.'

Jude Tarrant from Sunrise Stained Glass came up with the design for the glass.

She said: 'We had a number of designs in mind before we came up with this one.

'It's wonderful to have something here at the hospital that isn't just visually striking, but emotionally charged as well.

'There's a real aura of reflection that you get from looking at it, so I'm really happy with how it's turned out.'