Oldfield Park Junior School (Bath) WW1 Memorial Project
St. Peter's Church (Bath) WW1 Memorial
St Peter's Church was on the Lower Bristol Road in East Twerton, next door to the East Twerton Schools (now Oldfield Park Infants). The Parish already had its mother church, St Michael, in old Twerton and had added St Peter's to serve 'East Twerton' as housing filled the gap between Twerton and the boundary with Bath at Brougham Hayes.
St Peter's as it appeared in the 1890s [Image: Bath In Time]The church closed and was converted to apartments in the 1990s.
From Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette, 16th October 1920:
ST PETER'S WAR MEMORIAL
Dedicated by Archdeacon of Bath
OUR NATIONAL OBLIGATIONS TO THE FALLEN
On Wednesday evening the Ven. Archdeacon of Bath (Preb. L. J. Fish) unveiled and dedicated the memorial tablet at St. Peter's, East Twerton, which commemorates the nine members of the church and congregation who perished in the war. The other clergy present were Preb. M. E. Hoets (Rural Dean of Keynsham) Preb. H. L. Maynard (Vicar), the Rev R. E. Lupton (priest-in-charge at St. Peter's), and the Rev. J. G. Addenbrooke. The choir attended, and Mr. J. S. Marsh was at the organ.
ORDER OF SERVICE.The processional hymn was "O God, our help in ages past." The "Shepherd Psalm" was chanted, and the familiar lesson from the Book of Wisdom was read the by Rev. J. G. Addenbrooke. The second lesson, taken from the Revelation, was read by Preb. Hoets. Prayers Were read by the Rev. R. E. Lupton.
ARCHDEACON'S SERMON.After the recital by the Vicar of the names of the fallen, the Archdeacon of Bath gave an address from the pulpit. He took for his text the words in the Epistle to the Philippians, "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you". He explained that he wished to say one word about those whom they honoured that night, one word to those who mourned them, and one word to those who survived. First, as to those whom they were commemorating that evening — that gallant band, some of whom were definitely and some intimately connected with St. Peters. It was, indeed, both a proud and a sad day for St. Peter's, as they gathered there to commemorate those men who had done so much for us. No words could be an adequate tribute to those heroes or could express the feeling that their friends and relations had in their hearts for them. But this, indeed, he might say — that they were men who saw their duty and who had the courage to do it.
THE PATH OF DUTY."And when you have said that", added the Archdeacon "you have said the highest you can say about any person. This is indeed the very spirit of Christ himself, who saw the vision of duty, and did it at the call of God. So, although we cannot praise them, we may at least remember. And surely we here to-night, as indeed we have done, may pray. They have passed from our sight but never, thank God, from our prayers.
THE CALL TO FAITH.Speaking next to the mourners for the fallen, the Archdeacon urged them to deepen their faith in the absolute certainty of the Resurrection. It was impossible for any Christian to think of these honoured dead, even for moment, as those whose lives were finally assisted by that charge which we called death. On the contrary, we believed that personality and character persisted beyond the grave. If this conception were true, then the emblem of human death was not the broken pillar or the headless column, but the Cross, with its topmost finger pointing upwards and heavenward to the life beyond the grave. "Never," said the preacher, "think of your dear ones as dead. Always think of them as living. Although the 'Last Post' has been sounded over them, one morning Gods great 'Reveille' will sound and wake them to a higher and better life.
OUR PRESENT DUTY.The Archdeacon concluded with a general appeal to the survivors to bear in mind the great sacrifice made by the fallen. What would our gallant brothers think of the state of our country to-day? Surely they would feel that those ideals of goodwill and brotherhood which had animated them had been lost sight of in the smooth days of peace. What would be their feelings if they knew — perhaps they did know — that we in England were to-day squandering the harvest that they had reaped in blood?
THE MEMORIAL DEDICATED.The hymn, "On the Resurrection Morning", was next sung, and the clergy and choir then walked in procession to the memorial on the west wall of the nave. The Archdeacon removed the covering, and solemnly performed the dedication.
After the singing of the hymn, "For all the Saints", the procession returned to the chancel, and and the Archdeacon pronounced the Benediction. Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar" was sung kneeling,and as the congregation left the ,church Mr. Marsh plaved Spohr's "Blest are the Departed."
THE MEMORIAL DESCRIBED.The memorial is of Gothic design, executed in oak. It is divided into three panels, with fluted columns, supporting the cornice and pediment. The centre panel contains the words: "These all died in faith". "They waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens" (Hebrews 11, verses 13, 34). "So they passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for them on the other side" (The Pilgrim's Progress). The panels on either side contain the names of the fallen:
The memorial has been executed by Messrs. J. F. Coakes and F. Keevil, the former having carried out the woodwork and the latter the carving. The design, which is particularly handsome, is the work of an old member of St. Peter's Sunday School, who performed the task gratuitously, and who desires to remain anonymous.
While initial attempts to discover the current location of this memorial proved fruitless, an e-mail was received in 2017 from Mr Laurence Tindall, local sculptor, who had completed a restoration of the plaque in recent years. He confirmed that the plaque was now mounted in the north porch of the parish church (St Michael, Twerton), where it is indeed on view, complete with actual cap badges (as described in 1920) on the red mounts; this is a unique aspect of this memorial.
More of Laurence Tindall's work in stone and wood can be viewed on his website at www.laurencetindall.co.uk and we are grateful for his getting in touch to point us to the memorial.