Search This Blog

Monday, 1 December 2014

Story of the Village War Memorial

I got a bit confused the other day. (I know, ...not hard.)

click image to enlarge
I was looking at an old photo of Milford on Sea village centre, and in particular the building opposite The Red Lion, which I had always understood was the old bakers. 

On the wall is a large board, which I thought was the village’s original War Memorial, which had been moved to inside the War Memorial Hospital in Sea Road.

I am a bit embarrassed to say, but I had never ventured into the War Memorial Hospital to see for myself.

WW1 War Shine
in War Memorial Hospital
click image to enlarge
Well, I did a week or so ago, and was a bit surprised with what I found. Indeed, there was a War Memorial on the wall, but it was definitely not the one from the wall of the bakers in the old picture!

So, there was only one thing to do - ask Chris Hobby, a stalwart of the village, eminent member of the MOSHRS (Milford on Sea Historical Record Society) and from a family of solid Milford on Sea stock for many generations.

Village War Shrine dedicated in 1917.
The names in the small centre panel
are those that had died.

Picture and information supplied
by Bob Braid
click image to enlarge
Chris explains: "The old picture shows the War Shrine which was erected on the wall of Tom Miles' bakehouse, on what is now the site of the photographers premises in the mock Tudor designed buildings put up in the mid 1930's.

The shrine was dedicated in 1917 and included the names of the villagers who went away to the war together with those, like my grandfather, who failed to return.

The names were inscribed on marble tablets which were transferred to the War Memorial Hospital when the bakehouse was demolished. They became very weathered and were eventually removed. 

The bronze depiction of Christ's head was part of the original shrine and was found on top of a cupboard in the hospital several years ago. Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, together with the workmanship of Vernon Waters, the plaque which you can now see in the Hospital makes a new record of the details which were once on the original shrine. It also acts as a reminder that our Hospital is the Village War Memorial. The villagers at the time having decided that the building would act as a living memorial to those who gave their lives in the Great War."

Thanks Chris, I think that clears it up, and for once one we have got a definitive answer to one of our quests. (Mainly due to getting someone sensible and knowledgeable involved!)

All Saints' Church War Memorial
click image to enlarge

PS: It is worth mentioning the All Saints' Church also has a War Memorial dedicated to the fallen of Milford on Sea.

No comments:

Post a Comment