I've had a query from Bangor Cathedral asking about the origins of a processional-cross which was made by a German prisoner-of-war who was a patient in Bangor's Caernarfonshire and Anglesey Hospital probably during the closing years of the Second World War. He was an artist and became an accomplished designer of stained-glass. The cross, which is usually displayed near the Cathedral pulpit, is of simple design, decorated by some coloured glass baubles and has been there since the 1970s. Until a couple of years ago, there was card caption which gave the name of the artist , but the caption has been lost and no-one knows his name.
It is thought that that in later years, he lived near Soest, Westphalia, Bangor's twin city and that the cross was given to the Cathedral when the two towns were twinned in the early 1970s. At the same time, a small stained-glass window was given to the C & A Hospital in Upper Bangor which depicts part of the old hospital. This window is now in a display case in the foyer of Ysbyty Gwynedd (and usually partly hidden by charity posters).
If anyone can provide the name of this German POW and stained-glass artist who was so fond of Bangor, I would be very grateful. I'm afraid that because of my current lack of mobility, I can't provide photos of the cross or window.
INSCRIPTION ON SEPARATE SIGN: CROES DINAS + BANGOR + CITY CROSS.
THE CROSS WAS MADE BY HERR FRANZ BONNEKAMP, AN ARTIST IN STAINED GLASS, WHO WAS A PRISONER OF WAR IN THIS COUNTRY. HE CREATED IT IN GRATITUDE FOR THE KINDNESS AND CARE RECEIVED AT THE OLD C&A HOSPITAL, BANGOR, WHEN HE WAS SERIOUSLY ILL IN 1946.
THE CROSS WAS PRESENTED TO THE CITY OF BANGOR ON BEHALF OF THE TWIN CITY OF SOEST, GERMANY, AND WAS DEDICATED BY THE DEAN AT A SPECIAL SERVICE ON 30 JUNE 1980. THE CROSS WAS CONVERTED TO A PROCESSIONAL CROSS BY THE STAFF OF GWYNEDD TECHNICAL COLLEGE, BANGOR, AND WAS FIRST USED AT THE ENTHRONEMENT OF BISHOP CLEDAN MEARS ON JANUARY 8 1983