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Location:St Nicolas' Church
OS Map Ref:SU470670
Description:Speenhamland Shrine
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W H Allen
R Bailey
G Ballard
M H Ballard
G Baker
W Barlow
A Bartholomew
B H Belcher
B Bew
J Bowley
G Brooks
W Chivers
A J Crooke
A G Cruse
G Donovan
F C Eary
H A R Fray
P F Frost
A Goodyear
L A Harris
A Harrison
G Harrison
F Holmes
F Hopgood
A F King
F G Lewis
M R B Liddle
F W Lovell
R H Mees
F Minchin
E C Noakes
E F Park
A Parsons
W Perkins
F Powers
B Povey
W R Povey
G B Ravenor
A Rosier
A R Rushent
C Scouse
G J Smith
S Smith
C Trevor-Roper
G Trevor-Roper
H A Thatcher
H A Turner
W Estall
W F Whiley
To the Glory of God and in memory of the men of this Parish who / gave their lives for their country in the Great War 1914-1918 RIP

What the papers said:

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St Mary’s, Speenhamland – Dedication Service, 12 Dec 1920.

Newbury Weekly News, 16 Dec 1920

War Shrine Dedicated At St Mary’s, Speenhamland

The war memorial to the parishioners of Speenhamland is in the form of a Shrine in St Mary’s Church, upon which are enrolled the fifty names of the Fallen. The shrine was dedicated at a special service held on Sunday afternoon by the Ven Archdeacon of Berks, the Very Rev W M G Ducat, at which there was a large congregation. The memorial is in two parts, the base and the shrine. The base, which is three feet two inches high, and about the same length, is of oak, stained and fumed to a dark shade in the carved panels of linen-fold design. The top affords space in front of the shrine for flowers. The shrine is about three feet six inches in height, the central part crowned with an open cresting, and consists of a plinth supporting three recessed niches, all within a deeply moulded frame, and enclosed by doors which, normally, will be set open. The central figure is the Cricifixion group, and on either side in smaller niches are St Michael and St George. The figures are about 14 inches high, carved in the round, and in common with the whole scheme are decorated in gold and colours. Beneath them on a broad scroll is the inscription:

“To the glory of God, and in memory of the men of this parish who gave their lives in the Great War, 1914-1919. RIP”

On the wide fold doors are the names of the fallen, and two heraldic shields are added with an Anchor and St George’s Cross, representing the Navy and Army.

The Roll of Heroes

The names of the fallen are as follows:-

Harry AllenMoreton R M Liddle
Richard BaileyF W Lovell
George BallardRichard H Mees
Mark BallardFrank Minchin
George BakerEdward C Noakes
Walter BarlowErnest F Park
Arthur BartholomewAlbert Parsons
Basil H BelcherWilliam Perkins
Brice BewFrederick W Powers
James BowleyBenjamin Povey
George BrooksWilliam R Povey
William ChiversGeoffrey B Ravenor
Edward J CrookAllan Rosier
Albert G CruseAlan R Rushent
George DonovanGeorge J Smith
F C EaryStanley Smith
Harry A R FrayCharles Scouse
Francis P FrostHenry A Thatcher
Albert GoodyearCharles Trevor-Roper
L A HarrisGeoffrey Trevor-Roper
George HarrisonHorace A Turner
Frederick HolmesWilliam Westall
W Frank HopgoodWilliam F Whiley
Albet KingJack Wilson
Francis G Lewis

The Service

It was not a sad service, the dominant note being the blessed memory of the fallen, their heroic sacrifice on behalf of the nation, and the great example they have given to all of us, and these thoughts were emphasised by the Venerable Archdeacon in his address. The service, which was taken  by the Vicar, the Rev W J Holloway, commenced with the words, “I am the Resurrection and the Life,” then followed Psalm 46, “God is our hope and strength.” The lesson, which was read by Mr A A Herring, was taken from Wisdom III, “The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God.” Following the special prayers, the congregation joined with the choir in the singing of the hymn, “Let saints on earth in concert sing with those whose work is done."

The Dedication

For the dedication the Clergy, preceded by the two Churchwardens, DR Somerset and Mr Victor Corden, bearing their staves of office, proceeded them to the shrine. The Ven Archdeacon then performed the dedication, reading out impressively each of the names, and concluding with the words, “We bless Thee for their courage and devotion; accept their sacrifice we pray Thee; let it not be in vain that they have died in the cause of righteousness and honour.”

Before the address, a hymn was sung, the first verse of which ran:

“O valiant hearts, who to your glory camr
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.”

The Address

The Ven Archdeacon based his address upon the words, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Quoting the words of the Duke of York, in opening a recent war memorial, the preacher said the courage, tenacity and endurance of those men won us the victory, and it was for us to remember their example. He did not think they could find more appropriate words to express their thoughts and feelings on the occasion. Let them thank God for the gallant soldiers and sailors whose names were numbered in their roll of honour, and pray God to give them grace to follow their bold example that with them they might be partakers of His heavenly Kingdon. He wanted them not only to think of what their loved ones had done to make them worthy, but of their present life and experience. For although they were dead, their spirits lived in conscious and active life. It must be a comfort to think that they are present with us, as we are with them in heart and mind, that they are remembering us, loving us, praying for us. As the text set forth, they were in a state of rest: “they rest from their labours.” The toil and din of eathly labour was forever at an end. It was a blessed and perfect rest into which they had entered. It was not an inactive rest, but a life of spiritual progress and spiritual activity. Then, as the text pointed out, their works followed them, It had been said that the labours of a saintly life ended with the grave, but not its work. Their works went on with them in the life beyond. The Archdeacon quoted the words of the old Scotch woman in Ian MacLaren’s – a Presbyterian Minister- book, “Beside the Bonnie Briar Bush”: “The Almighty needs my laddie for some grand scheme in the other world.” The old lady had a great faith, and if they shared their thoughts, it would help them to feel the reality of the life beyond the grave. The preacher concluded with the words: “Let us remember these brave boys in our prayers and in our lives.”

At the conclusion of the address, the hymn “For all the Saints” was sung, and a service which was spontaneous in its sympathy and simplicity concluded with the Blessing, the Last Post and the National Anthem.

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 Died this day:
22 June 1917
W J Butler

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