St Mary’s and the memories of World War II
At the north-west end of the nave is St Mary’s Memorial door, a monument to the 35 men from the parish who died in World War II.
The door was carved by the famous wood craftsman, Robert “Mouseman” Thompson (1876-1955). Thompson worked in Kilburn, North Yorkshire, and earned his nickname from the signature little mice that he carved into every work.
St Mary’s Memorial Door is the largest piece ever crafted by Thompson, and was installed in 1956. The carved mouse can be found under “R. P. Fisher”, on the bottom row of names.
A different kind of remnant from WWII can be found in the trail of destruction left by a bullet fired from a German bomber.
In 1940, a low-flying German plane shot bullets at the town, one of which passed through a window of St Mary’s, and pierced one pew before lodging into the second.
The bullet holes in the pews and stained glass can still be seen today.
WHERE TO FIND THE MEMORIAL DOOR: at the north-west end of the nave, near the entry to the toilets.
THE BULLET HOLE: on the southern side of the nave – if needs be, ask a Church Welcomer to help you find it.