Oldfield Park Junior School (Bath) WW1 Memorial Project
(St Saviour's Parish, Bath)
From the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette of 13th November 1920:
St SAVIOUR'S WAR MEMORIAL
Unveiled and Dedicated
St. Saviour's War Memorial is so placed as to be within a constant view of the parishioners. It stands on the sloping southern lawn of the churchyard, just above the main road to Larkhall, where dwell most of the parishioners within the parish. Though within the rails of the church, the memorial has been made possible by the joint efforts of all religious bodies in the parish, a united and non-sectarian effort. This was expressed at the dedication on Thursday afternoon. Pathetic as all such ceremonies are, there was an added touch of pathos lingering round that of St Saviour's. The splendidly rugged and massive cross of silver-grey Cornish granite, a St Martin's cross, was designed by Mr C. J. Calvert, and was a special labour of love to him. He was not spared to see his picture reproduced in stone, and read the name of his eldest son engraved thereon. The cross is 12ft high and the front of the broad pedestal is occupied by a bronze plate on which appears the following: "To the Glory of God and in grateful memory of the men of this parish who fell in the Great War of 1914-19. This memorial was erected by the parishioners of St Saviour's Bath, 1920. 'Lest We Forget' ".
NAMES OF THE FALLENThen appear the names of the fallen , as follows:
The Rector (the Rev A. Wilkinson Markby) was Chairman of the Memorial Committee, Mr Jesse Batten the hon secertary and Mr Geo. Joliffe the hon treasurer, while Mr F. J. Garraway was untiring in his efforts to secure that a complete roll of honour appeared at the foot of the cross.
THURSDAY'S CEREMONYVery kindly proved the weather for the unveiling and a vast throng witnessed the ceremony. By consent of the Chief of Police, traffic was suspended in St Saviour's Road during the proceedings. The school children were grouped on the eastern side of the cross and the slope to the west was reserved for relatives of the heroic dead. They were many, for the roll on the memorial numbered 84. Most of them bore beautiful floral tributes, which were placed in front and around the cross after its dedication. Conspicuus among them was a large wreath of laurel leaves tied with a cluster of blood red chrysanthemums. The card on it bore the words:
And so they passed over
And all the trumpets sounded
For them on the other side*
A tribute of remembrance and gratitude from the scholars of St Saviour's Schools. Most fitting that this should be so prominent, when among the fallen honoured this day was also the Headmaster, Lieut. George Strong. A guard of honour of the St Saviour's K.R.R. Cadets, with rifles, stood near the memorial. On the path above were the drummers and buglers, a dozen strong, from the headquarters of the 4th Somerset L.I. under Bugle-Major Wiltshire. Very appropriate that they should be there when the 'bugle' of the regiment was the badge on several of the 'killed' from Larkhall. Mr A. E. Tucker, the organist from St Saviour's, presided at a harmonium which led the singing. The Archdeacon of Bath, the Rector the Rev T. W. O'Connor Parnell, and the Rev E. Norris were present, robed, and with them was the Rev T. Hayward, Pastor of Manvers Street Baptist Church, in his capacity of President of the Bath Free Church Council, for it was desired that more than one communion should be represented. The Rev Brown Tucker, or Larkhall Congregational Church, was on the memorial committee, but he has recently left for Devon. 'O God Our Help' was the opening hymn, and after prayer by the Rector and Mr Powell, the Shepherd Psalm was sung. The Rev T. Hayward read the brief lesson from Wisdom III. At its conclusion the Rector recited the names on the parish roll of honour.
THE UNVEILINGThen the large Union Jack which had covered the cross was removed by Brigadier General Molesworth C.B. The General took the place of Lieut.-Colonel H. P. P. Leigh C.B.E., church warden of St Saviour's, one of whose sons, Capt. P. L. Leigh B.A., is included in the roll. But Colonel Leigh left Bath early in the week for Devonshire. After the unveiling the Archdeacon dedicated the memorial with an impressive supplication. While the glorious hymn 'For All the Saints' was being sung the relatives laid the floral tokens of remembrance of their loved ones at the foot of the cross. This was the most pathetic incident of a memorable service, and few watched it dry-eyed. There were widows, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and young children of the gallant dead laying reverently these wreaths around the noble memorial. One of the last to place a tribute on the greensward was the little daughter of Lieut.-Colonel Codrington, who died of fever and starvation in beleaguered Kut.
THE ARCHDEACON'S ADDRESSThe Ven. Lancelot Fish in his address spoke first of those whom they honoured and saluted that day. That cross would be a perpetual reminder not only of our Blessed Lord's redeeming love, but of the sacrifcice made by brave soldiers. He had been reminded that the cross was in the form of St Martin's cross. St Martin was himself a soldier, and it was dedicated appropriately enough upon St Martin's Day. He believed that those whom they were commemorating were worthy of having a cross as their memorial; that they died most of them consciously, many no doubt unconsciously, in the spirit of Him of Whom it was said 'He saved others, Himself He could not save'. Those flowers might fade, that granite itself might perish, but those who had lifted our poor human nature to the loftiest possible pedestal of purpose, duty and achievement had taken their place among the immortal. 'Their name liveth for evermore'.
THE SIGN OF THE CROSSTherefore he would say to those who had just laid their loving tributes at the foot of the cross, let them renew their faith in the after life, never for a moment believing, as some would tell us, that the mere accident of death could arrest or destroy their life; never accept the broken shaft which they saw placed in the graveyards as the true emblem of human life., but look rather to that topmost finger of the cross pointing upwards to life beyond. In a few minutes the Last Post would sound but he rejoiced that those who arranged that service had added also the Reveille. If that cross were a memorial of valour, and a comfort to those who mourned, it was a challenge to everyone there that they should live to God and for their country as these men died for God and for their country. They stood shoulder to shoulder, they died in the spirit of comradeship one to another, and that was the message of the cross. Lord Haig had written that the London cenotaph was the emblem of national unity. Be it so. Then the cross was still more the emblem, not only of national, but of worldwide unity. Look what it had done that afternoon. There was never anything like it in that parish before. There they were gathered together, with all their unhappy divisions, just for one brief hour, sunk out of sight. What was possible for one hour on one day was possible for all hours and for every day, and the one hope of them drawing nearer together was that they should all draw nearer to the Cross and to Christ.That he believed was what these 84 gallant men would say to them if they could speak.
A commemorative prayer by the Archdeacon and other petitions by the Rev T. Hayward followed. One verse of the National Anthem having been sung, the Last Post was sounded, and, after the Benediction by the Archdeacon, the Reveille.
* Lines from 'A Pilgrim's Progress' by John Bunyan
A rather blurry image of the 1925 Remembrance Sunday service at the memorial