The East Window in Swardeston Church


This was designed by E Heaseman and installed in 1917 and is a fine memorial to Edith Cavell.

The text of a letter to subscribers from the then Vicar of Swardeston reads as follows:


August, 1916.

Dear Sir or Madam,

The above Memorial, to which you kindly contributed, is to take the form of a Stained Glass East Window in Swardeston Church, designed by Mr. Herbert W. Bryans, of 12, Mornington Crescent, N.W. and an Alabaster Tablet on the wall adjacent, bearing the following Inscription

“This window was given by many friends and admirers to commemorate the devoted life and tragic death of Edith Louisa Cavell, Head of the First Training School for Nurses in Belgium, who was born and brought up in this parish, of which her father was Vicar from 1863 to 1909, and who died for her Country on October 12th, 1915, aged 49 years, being shot by order of a German Court Martial in Brussels, for having rendered help to fugitive British, French, and Belgian Soldiers. The Artist who designed the window, and the Craftsmen who made it, gave their services as their contribution to this Memorial, A.D. 1917”

The work is now in hand, and it is hoped to put in the window as soon as the war is over.

Overleaf is printed a List of Subscribers.

Believe me,

Yours truly,


Vicar of Swardeston.

The subscribers listed overleaf, of whom there were many, gave sums between £10 10s 0d (£10.50) and 1d (less than half of 1p) – all were recorded. Edith’s father gave £1 4s 8d (about £1.23), the ‘Misses Cavell’ 15s (75p) and her cousin Eddie £1. Of course, although they seem small today, these were considerable sums in 1916. A large number of the names are recognisable as being from the village of Swardeston; Edith left a legacy of goodwill in her home village.