The War Memorial
Looking back just 13 years to September 2001 there was an article in our magazine about the war memorial in the church yard. Rex Thomas pointed out how dificult it had become to read the names which were rapidly disappearing. It was mentioned that we were thinking of compiling a detailed book of remembrance and the fact that the memorial would need restoring sooner or later.
At that time it proved too expensive to restore the memorial. The names of the fallen from the Second World War had been added to the memorial but were also recorded on a wooden board inside church so it was decided to produce a second board with the names from both wars in order that the men from the First World War would not be forgone. Rex and I researched the men from WW1 and Tim and Anna Brazier researched the men from WW2 and the results of our efforts can be found in the ‘Roll of Honour Book’ which Rex compiled and which is in the window alongside the memorial board in the south aisle of the church. Rex was also responsible for the board.
In February and March this year (2014) the memorial again found its way into the magazine. In February Rex outlined the current restoration project to restore the surfaces, to reinstate the original names and also to add four new names to the 1940 – 45 liasing. Of course it was also added that any donations to the restoration fund would be gratefully received.
During the course of our initial research Tim and Anna had found that four of the men on the WW2 board were not recorded on the war memorial. These men, William Henry Hinds, Stanley Jack McPherson, Gerald Henry Seeley and Frederick Cyril Wardroper, were all qualified to be on our parish memorial and so their names have been added to the restored memorial. Rex and I had found it difficult to identify a few of the men and one in particular, S Willett, had proved elusive. He appears as S Willett on our board and on the Malvern Library Memorial. More recent research has found that he was Edgar Stanley Willett who lived with his mother in Somers Road. He remains S Willett on the board as originally recorded but is now acknowledged as E S Willett on the restored memorial. His family and military details have been added to the Roll of Honour Book.
This photograph from the archive is not dated but we believe it is of the original dedication in November 1920. In the March magazine there was a copy of the Malvern News Report of the service, sent to us by Anna and Tim. Descriptions in the report match the picture. The Rev. Maynard Smith conducted the service and just two months later, in January 1921 it was reported that he had accepted a ‘residenary Canonry in Gloucester Cathedral.’
As this year (2014) is the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War It was hoped the restoration could be completed in time for the Remembrance Day service. This was achieved - Joan laid the wreath and Rex played the Last Post at the re-dedication of our newly restored memorial. The fact that the work was completed in time for the service of Remembrance was only possible thanks to the restless work of Rex as War Memorial Restoration Project Officer. He has spent a great deal of time this year filling in forms and sending numerous emails as he liaised with the War Memorial Trust and various other bodies ensuring that grants, and necessary permissions were in place for the restoration to go ahead.