Oldfield Park Junior School (Bath) WW1 Memorial Project
Christ Church (Bath) WW1 Memorial
Christ Church is at Montpelier, at the eastern end of Julian Road.
Its beautiful WW1 memorial is beneath the gallery on the north side of the church.
The memorial is unusual in that it includes a bound book with a page dedicated to each of the named servicemen.
The book of remembrance: frontispiece (left) and an example page;
there is one such page for each of the men named on the memorial
CHRIST CHURCH, BATH
THE WAR MEMORIAL SHRINE
DEDICATED BY PREBENDARY HOETS
The war memorial shrine which has been erected under the north gallery of Christ Church, Bath, in memory of the members of the congregation who perished in the war was dedicated by Preb. M. E. Hoets, R.D., on Sunday afternoon in the presence of a large congregation. The memorial is of carved unpolished oak harmonising with the design of the reredos. The central panel bears a Latin cross in slight relief and the names of the fallen are inscribed on the two side panels. The memorial is surmounted by a carved canopy and at the base is a shelf for the reception of vases of flowers.
The clergy present in addition to Preb. Hoets, were the Rev. F. B. Kerr-Thompson (curate), the Rev. J. C. Hayward, and Canon the Hon. Hugh Mostyn. A special form of service was used, based largely on the Order for the Burial of the Dead. The “Shepherd Psalm” was sung, and the lesson, taken from Revelation, chapter vii., was read by Canon Mostyn. The singing of the hymn "O Heavenly Jerusalem" preceded an address from the pulpit by Preb. Hoets. Mr H. J. Davis was at the organ.
OBJECT OF THE MEMORIAL
Preb. Hoets said a very few words would suffice. With such honour as they could render to those whose names were inscribed thereon they met to dedicate a memorial shrine which was no mere ornament of furnishing of the church, but which would belong to the spiritual life of all who worshipped there. To that quiet corner of the church many would come from time to time "to rest awhile” in prayer and thought — not only those to whom one or more of the written names must ever speak with a pathos too great for words, but all to whom the Church's doctrine of the Communion of Saints was no idle form words, but a bright and glorious reality. They would surely take care that their Shrine never lacked the offerings of flowers —beautiful symbols of love and honour—and that those who visited it, whoever they were, should understand that theirs was no barren, loveless record, but a living witness to the Faith and the Hope that was in them. They pronounced no eulogy upon the departed. Let these words which were engraved upon the hearts of some of them express their thoughts that afternoon. "Those whom this shrine commemorates were numbered among those 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 men by the path of duty and self-sacrifice, giving their own lives that others might live in freedom. Let those who come after see to it that their names be not forgotten."
THE SHRINE DEDICATED
Preb. Hoets then solemnly dedicated the shrine, and after this ceremony the anthem "Give rest, O Christ" was sung to the “Kield Melody." During the singing of the special war memorial hymn "O Valiant Hearts” a collection was taken for the Shrine and for the expenses. After the Blessing, the “Last Post” was sounded and the concluding processional hymn was “For all the Saints" sung to the newer setting by Vaughan Williams.
The shrine was designed by Mr. Mowbray A. Green F.R.I.B.A., of Bath.
And from the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, Saturday 21st April 1923:
CHRIST CHURCH, BATH
BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE DEDICATED
PREB. HOETS ON ITS APPROPRIATENESS
The enrichments of the war memorial shrine at Christ Church have now been completed by the provision of a Book of Remembrance. At evensong on Wednesday, this volume was solemnly dedicated and placed on the shrine by Preb. M. E. Hoets, R.D., who was assisted in the service by the Rev. F. B. Kerr-Thompson. The volume is bound in vellum, and contains the names of some forty members of the church and congregation who perished in the Great War. The title page bears the arms of the diocese and the inscription "Christ Church, Bath. Book of Remembrance, 1914-1919." The second is surmounted by the Royal Arms, and contains the King's message, which also appears in the larger volume forming the County of Somerset's record which is deposited in Wells Cathedral.
The message is: 'They whom this book commemorates are numbered among those who, at the call of King and Count y, left all that was dear to them, and endured hardness, faced danger, and finally passed out of the sight of men by the path of duty and self-sacrifice, giving their own lives that others might live in freedom. Let those who come after see to it that their names be not forgotten.’ The work has been designed and executed by Mr. Maurice J. Calvert.
The singing was led by the Christ Church choir, and Mr. H. J. Davis was at the organ.
The dedication was performed by Preb. Hoets with these words: "To the glory of God, and as a record of those whose names are recorded on the war memorial shrine of this church, we now dedicate this Book of Remembrance, Amen."
Preb. Hoets afterwards recited further prayers, including the Russian "Contakion" and the hymn, "Ten thousand times ten thousand" was sung.
After the dedication, Preb. Hoets gave an address from the pulpit, taking as his text Malachi, ch. 3, verse 16, "A Book of Remembrance was written before him."
The inscription on the memorial reads: