365 Project – Day 240

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Ivor Gurney Memorial Window.

We have been to Gloucester Cathedral today because I particularly wanted to see the Ivor Gurney Memorial Window and as the memorial is in two parts it demands two pictures.

Ivor Gurney was born a Gloucester man and sang in the cathedral choir and subsequently studied at the Royal College of Music in London. His studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War 1 and he enlisted in the Gloucestershire Regiment as a private and was sent to France in 1915; wounded in April 1917 he recovered and returned to the front only to be gassed that September, he never fully recovered from this.

Gurney suffered a major breakdown in 1919 but continued a prolific output of poetry and continued his musical studies, by 1922 his mental state had deteriorated to the point that his family had to have him declared insane. Gurney spent the final fifteen years of his life in institutions and died at the age of only forty seven.

During his life he produced a great deal of poetry covering Gloucestershire life and of the war; he was also a prodigious and talented composer in the English “pastoral” style. Sadly he is often missed out as one of the “War Poets” although he should certainly be seen as one of their number.

The memorial window was installed and dedicated in 2014 and each of the eight lights draws on a poem of Gurney’s.

Ivor Gurney 1890-1937

28 August 2014

*Ivor Gurney information from Wikipedia and Gloucester Cathedral

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