Oldfield Park Junior School (Bath) WW1 Memorial Project
St Philip, Odd Down (Bath) WW1 Memorial
St Philip's Church on Frome Road, Odd Down, was built as a subsidiary church to St Luke's and became St Philip & St James in the 1950s when the dedication of St James church at Southgate in the city centre was transferred following the destruction of the latter church in the German bombing campaigns of April 1942.
The nature of the WW1 memorial can be best understood by viewing the following photographic postcard image, kindly supplied by Tim Conroy, who works in the church office. To the existing church building was added a vestry at the western end, which featured a stained glass window and included a new baptistery (font).
The church building today (below) is almost unrecognisable following considerable extension in the 1950s using money from the sale of the St James site; in fact it is the vestry extension which supports the direct comparison.
The changes are evident in the stonework of the western (left) end wall and (especially when viewed close-up) the outline of the former narrow arch window can still be made out, along with the old gable end; similarly, the stonework around the replacement windows in the vestry extension itself can be seen to have formerly accommodated taller, narrower arched windows.
One such window in the vestry was a part of the WW1 memorial; (again the photograph is supplied by Tim Conroy):
The window was originally installed in the middle of the western wall of the vestry. The figure of St George is said to have been drawn as a close likeness to Charles Doudney, the extremely charismatic Vicar of St Luke's church who was killed while on service as a chaplain on the Western Front. That this is true can be adjudged from images included in the excellent biography of Doudney, entitled "The Best of Good Fellows".
The memorial window was flanked by two stone tablets bearing the names of those commemorated. It can be seen from the photograph below that these tablets are now in a different position as the 1950s work to the church included a remodelling for more flexible use and the western end of the building became a backstage area. The window and tablets were removed to the new vestibule, where they can be seen today.
The memorial tablets include the inscription:
This text is an excerpt from a report on the dedication of the memorial in the Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette from Saturday 11th December 1920:
ST. PHILIP'S, ODD DOWN.
Bishop Dedicates War Memorials.
UNVEILING BY THE MARQUIS OF BATH.
The Lord Bishop of the Diocese has constantly manifested Ins warm personal interest in the work of the parish of St. Luke's, South Lyncombe, and on Sunday afternoon, when he dedicated the war memorials of the district church of St. Philip's, Odd Down, took the opportunity of expressing his warm approval of the spiritual and social work which is being accomplished in this quarter of South Lyncombe. Not content with a general reference to this topic at the commencement of his address, Dr Kennion again introduced the subject after its conclusion, and mentioned the names of prominent workers.
The war memorials at this church combine the duty of commemoration of the gallant dead with the ideal of practical utility. The scheme, which has been the outcome of much anxious thought and labour on the part of the honorary lay reader (Mr A.R. Saxty) has cost in its entirety something like £600. The war memorial proper consists of a stained glass window depicting the figure of St. George flanked on either side by a tablet bearing the names of the fallen. The other portion of the scheme has improved the accommodation the church by the provision of vestry and baptistry at the end of the building. The general design is somewhat similar to that adopted at the mother church of St. Luke, with the exception that the vestry is situated on the ground level, at the side of the baptistry. The window and the memorial tablet form part of the enrichment of the latter building. The cost of the memorial scheme proper has already been defrayed; and Mr. Saxty and his colleagues hope to raise the balance at an early date. A system of loans from friends, free of interest, is part of the scheme, which it is hoped will result in the complete extinction of the debt.
THE DEDICATION SERVICE.
The Bishop was attended by Preb. S. A. Boyd, R.D.. who carried the pastoral staff. Other robed clergy present were the Rev. H. W. Doudney (Vicar of St. Luke's), the Rev. E. H. Moscardi, the Rev. J. W. Kearns, who frequently officiates at the celebrations of the Holy Communion at St. Philip's, and Canon Girdlestone. The hon. lay reader (Mr. A. R. Saxty) was also present, with Mr. E. Easterfield (headmaster of the Morikton Combe Junior School) and Mr. F. H. Woodward.
The united character of the service was emphasised by the presence of representatives of the Congregational Church, which is also actively engaged in mission and social work in the district. This work was represented by the Rev. J. Turner Smith and Mr. F. J. Amery.
There was a large congregation. The churchwardens of St. Luke's (Messrs. H. Harding and E. Brake) walked in the procession bearing their wands of office. The congregation included the Marquis of Bath, K.G. (Lord Lieutenant of the County), Mr. F. T. Jackson, Mr. F. W. Pinch, Mrs. Chadwick and Miss Alice Hatt.
The opening was "Stand up for Jesus." Prayers were read by the Vicar of St. Luke's, and the familiar lesson from the Book of Wisdom was read bv the Rev. J Turner Smith. The Psalm was the "De Profundis."
The memorial tablets and window, which had been covered by a large Union Jack, were unveiled by the Marquis Bath, and the Bishop then dedicated the memorials.
THE BISHOP'S ADDRESS.
In an address from the pulpit, the Bishop said he was very thankful indeed "to have the opportunity of expressing his appreciation of the way in which that part of the parish, and, indeed, the whole of that parish, had been so remarkably worked by those who had had the charge of it in late years. He also especially appreciated the honour of joining in that token of respect which that congregation were by their presence endeavouring to pay to the honoured memory of those who gave lives for their God, their King, and their country, and for the honour of our land. There was some doubt about the deaths which these men had died; but there could be no question that they had set an example for us which we could never forget. He believed that our Blessed Lord, who gave Himself in sacrifice to win the world, could not but say that in the sacrifice which these men had made they had got something of the ideal of His spirit. Christ, they might feel sure, would welcome these men. They must indeed be drawn to Him, and His heart would be opened to them.
The Bishop then narrated the story of a young soldier who, while asleep near a large crucifix, was killed by lightning, and whose body was afterwards found to bear representation of the crucifix. This incident might, he thought, be taken as a token that at the end life man was vouchsafed a nearer vision of God. Commenting on the unrest which existed in our country to-day, the Bishop said it was not to be wondered at, when one thought of the difficulties and the new problems which had come upon us since the terrible war. The dreadful state of things in Ireland, too, was something which we could never forget, even for a moment. All were to be commended who at this time were distinguished by steady consistent conduct and by the determination to do what they conceived to be their duty. But we should never bring back peace to the world until we had learnt the lesson "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness - and all necessary things shall be added unto you."
TRIBUTE TO PAROCHIAL WORKERS.
Having concluded his address, the Bishop said he wished to say a further word to the congregation on a different subject. He could never forget the good work and willing service of Mr. Saxty of that church. He could never forget what Mr. Doudney and his brother had done. He could never forget all those who had had an interest that part of Bath, and had done much for the good of others. Whether by promoting the erection of those buildings for the good of those who lived there, or by contributing towards that memorial to those whose lives they had valued so much they had done something to help forward the good work which had been so well begun there.
The concluding hymn was "For all the saints." After the Blessing Mr. Joseph Russell, who had assisted in the accompaniment of the hymns with his cornet, sounded the "Last Post." The congregation remained kneeling till the "Reveille" was sounded. At this moment the flag in the courtyard of the Institute, which had been flying at half-mast, was run up to full-staff,
The inscription at the base of memorial window is; "To the Glory of God, and in memory of our heroic dead. Let those who come after see to it that these names are not forgotten."
The work was executed by Mr. F. J. Amery.