Speenhamland


Memorial

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ID:WB313
UKNIWM:
Location:St Mary's School
OS Map Ref:SU469677
Description:Painted wooden triptych
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Inscription:
St Mary’s School, Speenhamland. In grateful memory of thise brave men educated in this school, who gave their lives for their country in the Great War, 1914-1918. Remember them in your prayers and on your lives.

On the folding panels were the names of the fallen, as under:-

Royal Navy – Ernest Buckle, HMS Queen Mary, William Chivers, HMS Vehement, B of Jutland, Sydney W Smith, HMS Good Hope, B of Falkland Isles.
Royal Berks Regiment - Ptes, Ernest Ballard, George Ballard, Richard Bailey, Brice Bew, John Bowley, Srgt Albert H Butler (Military M), Ptes Charles Bloomfield, William Bosley, F Walter Clarke, Albert Cruse, Charles Goddard, James Middleton, Henry Maccabee, Reginald F Oliver, Ernest F Park, William R Povey, William Piddington, L-Cpl Charles Scouse, Ptes Sidney C Shelton, George H Smith, James H Smith, Ernest A Smith, Henry A Thatcher, William Westall
Berks Yeomanry – Pte Thomas V Marshall
Honourable Artillery Company – Pte Leonard J Benham
Machine Gun Corps – Sergt Mark H Ballard (1914 Star)
Hampshire Regiment – Ptes Walter Barlow and Frederick W Powers
Royal Warwickshire Regiment – Pte Jesse A Buxey
Canadian Regiments – Lieut W Frank Hopgood, Pte George Donovan
Worcester Regiment – Sergt Charles Hughes
Northamptonshire Regiment – Pte Christopher C Harrison
King’s Royal Rifle Corps – Pte Albert A King
Royal Engineers - Cpl Frederick J Lake
Liverpool Regiment – Pte John Maccabee
Norfolk Regiment – Sergt Benjamin Povey (Military Medal)
Royal W Surrey Regiment – Pte George J Smith
Royal Field Artillery – Pte Arthur M Shelton
Rifle Brigade – Pte George Oram
Royal Marines – Pte Francis P Frost
Dragoon Guards – Pte Harry Goddard
E Lancashire Regiment – Corp Frank Minchin (1914 Star)
Killed in Gallipolli – Pte Thomas Crocker

What the papers said:

Untitled Document

St Mary’s School, Speenhamland, War Memorial

Dedication Service, 14 January 1920.

Newbury Weekly News, 15 January 1920


St Mary’s School, Speenhamland


War Memorial


Honour to the Fallen


The boys of St Mary’s School, Speenhamland, who at the call of King and Country left all that was dear to them, endured hardship, faced danger, and finally passed out of the sight of man by the path of glory and self-sacrifice, were honoured yesterday (Wednesday) , when a war memorial, bearing their names, to the number of 48, was unveiled in the large schoolroom. The ceremony was performed by Mrs Waldron, the donor, in the presence of a large gathering of relatives, parishioners and old scholars. The memorial takes the form of an oaken triptych, the centre panel of which is surmounted with a crown and palm leaves, symbolic of victory, with the following inscription underneath:-


"St Mary’s School, Speenhamland. In grateful memory of these brave men educated in this school, who gave their lives for their country in the Great War, 1914-1918. Remember them in your prayers and on your lives. On the folding panels were the names of the fallen, as under:-


Royal Navy – Ernest Buckle, HMS Queen Mary, William Chivers, HMS Vehement, B of Jutland, Sydney W Smith, HMS Good Hope, B of Falkland Isles. Royal Berks Regiment - Ptes, Ernest Ballard, George Ballard, Richard Bailey, Brice Bew, John Bowley, Srgt Albert H Butler (Military M), Ptes Charles Bloomfield, William Bosley, F Walter Clarke, Albert Cruse, Charles Goddard, James Middleton, Henry Maccabee, Reginald F Oliver, Ernest F Park, William R Povey, William Piddington, L-Cpl Charles Scouse, Ptes Sidney C Shelton, George H Smith, James H Smith, Ernest A Smith, Henry A Thatcher, William Westall Berks Yeomanry – Pte Thomas V Marshall Honourable Artillery Company – Pte Leonard J Benham Machine Gun Corps – Sergt Mark H Ballard (1914 Star) Hampshire Regiment – Ptes Walter Barlow and Frederick W Powers Royal Warwickshire Regiment – Pte Jesse A Buxey Canadian Regiments – Lieut W Frank Hopgood, Pte George Donovan Worcester Regiment – Sergt Charles Hughes Northamptonshire Regiment – Pte Christopher C Harrison King’s Royal Rifle Corps – Pte Albert A King Royal Engineers - Cpl Frederick J Lake Liverpool Regiment – Pte John Maccabee Norfolk Regiment – Sergt Benjamin Povey (Military Medal) Royal W Surrey Regiment – Pte George J Smith Royal Field Artillery – Pte Arthur M Shelton Rifle Brigade – Pte George Oram Royal Marines – Pte Francis P Frost Dragoon Guards – Pte Harry Goddard E Lancashire Regiment – Corp Frank Minchin (1914 Star) Killed in Gallipolli – Pte Thomas Crocker


Memorial Service


Prior to the unveiling a short service was held in the church, which was filled with a large congregation. The impressive words of the burial service, commencing “I am the resurrection and the Life,” were first reand by the Vicar, the Rev W J Holloway, and then the comforting message of Psalm 46, “God is our hope and strength” was chanted. The lesson from the Book of Wisdon, chapter II, verses one to nine, was read by Mr A A Herring, the headmaster of the school. Then after prayers the hymn “Let the saints on earth in concert sing” was sung.


Commemorating Heroes


The Vicar, in and address based on the words from the lesson “The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God,” said they were met together to commemorate the old boys belonging to St Mary’s School who laid down their lives in the Great War in defence of their country, and he wanted specially to put before them two or three thoughts. The first was that all these boys whom they were commemorating were heroes, and they died the death of heroes. Whatever their lives might have been, their end at least was glorious. Whether by sea or on land they died the grandest death a man can die, sacrificing themselves with magnificent courage and self-forgetfulness in the sacred cause of liberty and righteousness. And could the really desire that the splendid sacrifice had not been offered? Coulr they seriously wish that their dear ones hand remained safe and sound, but dishonoured in their homes having shirked their high duty and shifted their burden on to other more noble shoulders? He did not believe it. They were proud of their heroic death. That was their first consolation – the sublime grandeur of their death, the thought of unfading laurels crowning forever the illustrious brows of the departed. Religion taught them something of infinite comfort to the living who had loved and lost. Those who they mourned as dead were still alive, and it appeared to hi quite certain that those who had loved still love. Let no one be anxious then lest their loved ones who had gone had ceased to care. Nay, they were bound to them by the golden chain of love, which neither death nor hell could snap asunder. They were still the same people, with the same warm hearts, the same unswerving affections, the same to-day as it was yesterday. They might say with absolute confidence in the words inscribed by his wife in Latin on the tomb of Charles Kingsley, “We have loved, we love now, we shall love.” One other point concerning the life of the departed. It seemed to him self-evident that if the dead still lived and loved in the other world, there were also still active in the service of those they loved. Their helping powers so far from being diminished must be multiplied and increased. If they could only bring themselves to realise that death was not an end of love and life and service, but simply and introduction to a fuller life and large love and higher service, hoe greatly would they be comforted. Let them think then in that way of their heroic dead and in their thought find comfort. The brave young soldier had had his crowded hour of glorious life, and now the Supreme Commander had given him his promotion. He had reached the topmost note, the highest pitch of heroism, when a man did not shrink from laying down his life for his friends. And now for his reward. His name was inscribed on his country’s roll of honour and his purified soul with the souls of all the righteous, rests sage in the hands of his Father and his God. There was no end to love; there was no end to service. There was only a shock, a momentary stoppage caused by death; and then the divine order victoriously re-asserted itself and there was more life, more love, more service.


The service was concluded by the singing of the hymn, “Jesus lives,” and the Blessing.


The Unveiling


At the conclusion of the service a move was made to the schoolroom for the unveiling ceremony. Immediately supporting Mrs Waldron, who performed the ceremony, and through whose generosity the memorial was erected, were the Vicar, the Rev W J Holloway, the Deputy Mayor and Mrs Adrian Hawker, the Rev C L and Mrs Jeayes, the Rev W P and Mrs Godwin, Miss Godwin, Mr and Mrs A A Herring, and Mr Gidley Robinson, whilst there was a large and representative gathering present, so large that the seating accommodation was inadequate.


The ceremony was quite short and simple, Mrs Waldron contenting herself by opening the folding panels and revealing to those assembled the inscription and the names of the fallen.

Mr Herring, in proposing a vote of thanks to Mrs Waldron for her generosity, told the story of how the memorial came to be started. He said there was alist in the church of the fallen who lived in the parish. Many of the old boys did not appear in the list as the school served beyond the confines of the parish. He told the Vicar that something should be done for the school itself. This was repeated to Mrs Waldron, and she, with her kindness of heart, immediately said she would put up a memorial in the schoolroom and defray the whole of the expenses. They would all agree that it was very fitting they should have a memorial here. It was within those walls that the boys had spent many hours of their bright young lives. They learnt less there, and the greatest of these was their duty to their King and their country. Also it was right to have a memorial because many of the boys had a great attachment to their school. It was one of the first places many of them visited when they were home on leave. They had a great affection for their school, so it was only fitting that on those walls honour should be paid them. They had learnt their lesson there, and now they in their turn taught them. Especially to the young boys and girls they taught them to do their duty to King and Country the same way they did theirs. If they followed the example and took the ideals of those brave men as their own they need have no fear for the future of this country.


Mr Gidley Robinson, in seconding the vote of thanks, said it was a great thing to have on their walls a memorial which was a thing of beauty and an inspiration for the children yet to be taught their.


The Rev C L Jeayes, the late Vicar, alluded to the pleasure it gave him to be present, and then the Rev H B Godwin, responding on behalf of Mrs Waldron, said that she regard it a great privilege to be allowed to place on those walls a tribute to the boys connected with the school who had given their lives in order that they might live. May it remain as an inspiration for service to the great Empire to which they belonged.


The proceeding then closed with the National Anthem, after which Mr and Mrs Herring entertained many of those present to tea.


The memorial was designed by Mr Dorian Webb, and the work has been carried out under his direction.


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