Oldfield Park Junior School (Bath) WW1 Memorial Project
Good Templars (Bath) WW1 Memorial
The International Order of Good Templars was and is part of the temperance movement, promoting abstinence from alcohol and other drugs. A comprehensive history of the Good Templars can be found here.
The Bath branch which met at the Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel School Rooms, Vineyards (west side of the Paragon) is known to have erected a war memorial in 1920.
From Bath Weekly Chronicle & Gazette, 3rd July 1920:
UNVEILED BY THE RECTOR OF WALCOT
THE ETHICS OF PATRIOTISM
On Wednesday evening the Rector of Walcot (Preb Cecil W. Wilson) unveiled the brass memorial tablet which has been placed in the headquarters of the Cotterell Lodge (No. 340) of the I.O.G.T. in the schoolroom at the Countess of Huntingdon’s Church to commemorate the fallen members. Approximately 60 members of the Lodge served in the war, including three women members who engaged in nursing or other war work. Ten, including one associated, perished.
After the Chairman’s introducing remarks, the Rev. D. Jarvis (minister of the Countess of Huntingdon’s Church) expressed the indebtedness of the present dwellers in this land to the sacrifices of the fallen. He remarked that whie he yielded to none in loyalty, he felt that there were times when it was possible for us to carry our patriotism beyond the limits of reason, justice, or truth. He was satisfied that in the recent conflict England’s cause was just; but the Christian outlook might reasonably call on occasion for reasoned consideration of the justice of a quarrel rather than impetuous and ill-considered rallying to the standard of a particular cause. Humanly speaking, there was no need for any of these young men to have perished. Their death was due to the selfish, grabbing greed of man. He thought it was a terrible thing to charge God with this war, which was due to the machinations of the Evil One.
Mr Barker, who is a P.G.M. of the Order, said that 97 decorations had been gained by members and 714 had lost their lives. It was untrue to contend that during the war the members of the temperance movement were pacifists, as one speaker had recently stated. On the contrary, many temperance organisations had to cease their activities during the war owing to the depletion of thei workers. Both at the front and at home their work had continued. He narrated many instances of the loyalty to the principles of temperance displayed by their members while on military service. One or two members had actually been court martialled for refusing to serve liquor in the canteens.
The Rector of Walcot, speaking from his own experiences as an Army chaplain in Gallipoli, paid tribute to the cheerfulness and heroism of the British troops under the grave hardships they were compelled to undergo. Their courage had never flinched (applause). He believed that, in her heart of hearts, England really wanted what was right and true and just; and that her sons who joined the Colours during the war were no actuated by motives of Jingo patriotism. He remarked that he had never met the soldier who believed that if he died on the battlefield, all would be right with his soul. On the contrary, he knew of many instances of the great searchings of heart. The modern British Army was a very much more sober army than it was often considered. The restraint which many young soldiers exercised was absolutely marvellous. Preb. Wilson confessed that he saw good in the present unrest. He gloried in it and thanked God for the manifestation of the spirit of disappointment in the lives of men. He rejoiced at the tendency to discard red tape and at this new and real striving after life which had replaced the old attitude of lethargy, indifference, and callousness.. Preb. Wilson then unveiled the memorial tablet.
Mrs. Otridge sang two solos. Votes of thanks to all who had assisted were proposed by Mr. Upton, seconded by Mr. Kennard, and acknowledged by the Chairman.
The inscription on the memorial tablet is:
I.O.G.T. Cotterell Lodge, No. 340
To the glory of God and the heroes of this Lodge who sacrificed their lives in the Great War.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends"
The memorial is no longer in situ in the school house at the Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel and its whereabouts are not known.