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Our War Memorials: III-In Town and Village page 2


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In the centre of the famous village of Port Sunlight, in Cheshire, a village which may be said to wash half the world, the great firm of Lever Brothers has erected a beautiful memorial to the 500 of its employees who fell and the 4,000 who served. The stone cross on its raised platform is flanked by symbolical figures, and is well worthy of the hand, that of Sir William Goscombe John, R.A., which designed the noble monument to Lady Lever in the porch of Christ Church, near by. Another big firm, that of Brunner, Mond & Co., has erected memorials at Lostock Gralam, Middlewich, Sandbach and Win-nington; and one must also mention the L.M.S. memorial, designed by Mr. Walter Gilbert, at Crewe. The L.M.S. has another memorial outside Euston Station in London.

Some Lancashire memorials include a sculptured pylon at Ashton-under-Lyne, by Mr. J. Ashton-Floyd; Professor C. H. Reilly's Greek obelisk at Accrington; the pylon of the local Hematite Steel Company at Barrow-in-Furness, which bears Mr. Laurence Binyon's oft-quoted lines, "They shall not grow old"; the bronze and granite group at Crompton; the pylon at Farnworth; the Hall of Memory and granite pylon at Bolton; the splendid cenotaph in the market square at Preston, designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, R.A., with sculptures by Mr. Henry Pegram, R.A.; the cenotaph at Rochdale, by Sir Edwin Lutyens, R.A., the eminent sculptor, whose Cenotaph in Whitehall is world-famous; the group at St. Anne's-on-Sea presented by Lord Ashton and expressing sympathy for human suffering; Mr. Tyson Smith's obelisk at Southport, with its beautiful colonnades and shrines, tree-girt lawns, and reflecting pools, and the fine symbolical group at Shaw.

An Old English Garden commemorates the 105 sons of Kirkham who fell. In the centre is a cenotaph and around are 105 trees. Blackburn, in addition to a new wing to the Royal Infirmary built at a cost of 100,000, has a monument set in a Garden of Remembrance designed by Sir Bertram Mackennal, R.A. Another lovely Garden of Remembrance is at Todmorden; it is largely the work of Mr. Gilbert Bayes and Mr. Norman Thorp. To Chorley Mr. Reginald Arthur Tetton generously gave Astley Park, with its Hall. The memorial in the park, which is entered by a memorial gate, is a replica of Chorley market cross.

Near the bronze-panelled Eleanor cross at Sledmere, in Yorkshire, to the memory of the men of the 5th Yorkshire Regiment, is the sculptured memorial to the battalion of Yorkshire waggoners raised by the late Sir Mark Sykes, with stirring verses in ilocal dialect. Mirfield has a beautiful Maltese cross surrounded by flower beds and footpaths as well as memorial recreation grounds commanding views of the picturesque Hopton Hills and the woods to the south. At Otley, the gift of Messrs. William Ackroyd and Duncan, Barraclough & Co., is Grove Hill Memorial Park, with an impressive group in stone and bronze. In Armley Park is a memorial cross.

At Knottingley is a fine bronze figure of the Angel of Peace on a tall column of Cornish granite. The Sedbergh war memorial takes the form of cloisters.

At Horsforth is an avenue of 212 trees, each bearing the name of a fallen soldier; and at Holme-on-Spalding Moor is a beautiful lych gate by Professor F. C. B. Darwent. The memorial at Saddleworth rises 1,400 feet above sea-level.

As we approach the Scottish Border we reach, in Cumberland, one of the most wonderful of all our war memorials, the 3,000 acres of mountain heights secured to the nation by the Fell and Rock Climbing Club of the Lake District, with the tablet to the memory of its fallen members on the towering peak of Great Gable - "An eternal monument among the everlasting hills." Prudhoe, in Northumberland, has built a nursing home, and the village of Burradon a cottage for the district nurse.

Among the more notable of the memorials in Wales, apart from the National War Memorial at Cardiff, described elsewhere, is that in memory of the men of Llandaff and of the old boys of the Cathedral School. The designer is Sir W. Goscombe John. Of the bronze and granite memorial at Port Talbot, which finely symbolises the Spirit of Peace, the central figure and panels are the work of Mr. L. F. Rosslyn, who also designed the cenotaph at Holyhead., There is a memorial gateway to the Castle public park at Pant. The handsome entrance gates to the memory of Lieutenant Edward H. J. Wynne, Grenadier Guards, the heir to the Coed Cock estate, near Colwyn Bay, also call for note. These gates were erected by the tenants and presented to the late heir's mother, the Hon. Mrs Laurence Brodrick. Dyffryn, near Barmouth, is typical of "gallant little Wales," for one is reminded by its war memorial that of a total population of 500, seventeen gave their lives.

In Scotland, outside the great cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, referred to elsewhere in this work, one may specially note the restoration by Sir Robert Lorimer of the ancient church of S. John the Baptist at Perth, and the construction in it of a shrine for a Golden Book of Remembrance. Also in Perthshire are the beautiful memorial at Blairgowrie and the typical village memorial at Comrie, where the Bridgend hotel has been converted into an institute and a Celtic cross erected in the grounds. St. Fillan has a fine obelisk and drinking fountain. At Galashiels, in Selkirkshire, is a vigorous representation in bronze of a mounted Border warrior. At Paisley, in Renfrewshire, the cenotaph was designed by Sir R. Lorimer and the sculpture is the work of Mrs. Meredith Williams, Renfrew itself has a beautiful octagonal mercat cross of freestone. Very impressive is the temple-crowned monument to the men of Helensburgh, in Dumbartonshire. Lanark has a Hall of Memory. Sir R. Lorimer is well represented again in the memorial at Alloa, while another Clackmannanshire memorial is the wayside cross at Alva.

At Spiers School, Beith, in Ayrshire, below the figure of an angel holding a flickering torch, are the words: "To you, with failing hands, we throw the torch; Be yours to hold it high." The memorial at Arbroath, in Forfarshire, symbolises in stone and bronze the strength, simplicity, constancy and repose of its 786 citizens who did not return. Mr. G. W. Browne was the architect. Carnoustie has a beautiful Rest Garden. At Peterhead, in Aberdeen-shire, the memorial obelisk has an inscription from Bunyan: "So they passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for them on the other side."

At Cnoc-a-Clachan, Kintail, in Ross and Cromarty, amid a scene of sublime natural beauty, is a memorial to the 3,624 men of the clan who answered the call and the 423 who laid down their lives. A Highlander in service kit stands on a granite cairn facing the Five Sisters of Kintail. Beneath is Clachan Duich, the burial-place of the clan. The services of the MacRaes are further commemorated in a volume by Mrs. Ella Macrae-Gilstrap. And far away in the Orkneys is that tower of grim but grateful memories at Marwick Head which commemorates the tragic death of Lord Kitchener.

Of the war memorials in Ireland the most important perhaps are the Trinity College Hall of Honour, the Celtic cross in Phoenix Park, and the Rathf arnham Memorial Hall in Dublin; and the County Antrim memorial obelisk of basalt, no feet high, set on the crest, 900 feet above sea-level, of Knockagh Hill, about six miles from Belfast.

Public interest in war relics and memories is testified by the attendances at the Imperial War Museum, which rose from 101,725 in 1924-25 to 239,951 in 1927-28. The curator and his officials (the soul of courtesy and helpfulness to the serious inquirer) have noted that a detailed label invariably attracts far more than a brief description.

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