Tag: Memorial

Kemerton War Memorial

Kemerton is a small village in a string of villages between Tewkesbury and Evesham. I visited the village to photograph the memorial on 20/10/2018.

The War Memorial is described as a “Latin Limestone Cross atop a tall shaft, which is on a 5 stage base. The design of the cross was adapted from an ancient village cross in the village of Laycock.” (https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/32460). It was unveiled on 9 January 1921, and was made by Sir Herbert Baker RA (possibly the architect?), Messrs E T Taylor of Tewkesbury and Mr A Stanley of Kemerton. It is a Grade II listed structure. 

There are 20 names from the First World War and 7 from the Second World War on the memorial.

The memorial may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates: 52.033202°,  -2.079959°.

DRW 2018. Created 24/10/2018

Updated: 02/03/2019 — 05:05

Commando Winners of the Victoria Cross

The Commando Winners of the Victoria Cross Plaque may be found at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Lt Col Geoffrey Keyes VC, MC.
Lt Col Charles Newman VC
Sgt Thomas Durrant VC
Maj Patrick Porteus VC
L/Cpl Henry Harden VC
Lt George A Knowland VC
Cpl Thomas Hunter VC
Maj Anders Lassen VC, MC**

DRW © 2018. Created 21/08/2018

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:26

Merchant Navy Memorials, Liverpool

The Merchant Navy Memorials in Liverpool are situated on the waterfront facing the Mersey and the Birkenhead side of the river bank.  The city played an important role in the Battle of the Atlantic as Western Approaches Command was based in the city, and many of the men and ships that sailed in the convoys came from this port.

A few metres further is a raised block with a number of relevant dedications. The two memorials are between Google Earth co-ordinates: 53.403829°  -2.996822°

Of particular relevance was this plaque that does not really make up for the lack of recognition of men and women from so many other countries that lost their lives in the Merchant Navy during both wars.

There was also an Arandora Star Plaque which served as a reminder that all ships were in danger of being sunk, whether combatant or non-combatant.

Norwegians, Poles and Belgians are also commemorated on this block.

Unfortunately these plaques are mounted on what appears to be some sort of housing for some unidentified machinery/access chamber and really do not connect too well with the Merchant Navy Memorial close by. I would have thought that a unified MN memorial would have meant much more instead of having these two distinct groupings that appear as an afterthought. 

The Maritime Museum also had a very good Merchant Navy exhibition on while I was visiting. 

A few steps away is the Liverpool Naval War Memorial which I will cover separately.

DRW © 2018. Created 05/06/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:11

Worcestershire Anglo Boer War Memorial

The Memorial to the Men of Worcestershire who lost their lives in the Boer War stands outside Worcester Cathedral.

The Memorial  is a bronze depiction of a  soldier of the Worcester Regiment kneeling as he prepares to fire his last cartridge. A winged figure said to represent “Immortality” stands above him with a palm branch in one hand, and in the other hand a sheathed sword with laurel wreath on it. It was unveiled on 23 September 1908 by Lt. Gen. the Hon. Sir N. G. Lyttleton. The monument was restored in 2005. The sculptor was William Robert Colton and it is a grade II listed object.

There is an additional inscription on the base of the memorial that is not as legible.

Their bodies were buried in peace

but their name liveth forevermore 

Inside the Cathedral there is an additional Roll of Honour.

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 07/03/2017. 

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:39

Thomas Orde Lawder Wilkinson VC

Thomas Orde Lawder Wilkinson (29/06/1894 – 05/07/1916) Was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at La Boiselle, France during the First World War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29765, Page: 9418, reads:

“Temp. Lt. Thomas Orda Lawder Wilkinson, late N. Lan. R.

For most conspicuous bravery. During an attack, when a party of another unit was retiring without their machine gun, Lieutenant Wilkinson rushed forward and, with two of his men, got the gun into action, and held up the enemy till they were relieved.

Later, when the advance was checked during a bombing attack, he forced his way forward and found four or five men of different units stopped by a solid block of earth, over which the enemy was throwing bombs.

With great pluck and promptness he mounted a machine gun on the top of the parapet and dispersed the enemy bombers. Subsequently he made two most gallant attempts to bring in a wounded man, but the second attempt he was shot through the heart just before reaching the man.

Throughout the day he set a magnificent example of courage and self-sacrifice. “

His body was not recovered and he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing in the Somme in France, Pier 11, Face A.

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Image courtesy of Ralph McLean and the South African War Graves Project

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 01/03/2017. Commemoration Image courtesy of Mark Green,  Gallaher cigarette card first issued 1917, reproduced by Card Creations © 2003

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:40

Kennington Park Civilian War Dead Memorial

Kennington Park (Google Earth  51.484066°  -0.108817°)  in South London has a Civilian War Memorial, and it commemorates the over 100 people that were killed in an air raid trench in the park on 15 October 1940. A 50lb bomb caused one section of the trench to collapse, killing mostly women and children. The memorial was unveiled in 2006 and was made of Caithness stone by Richard Kindersley.

The main inscription reads: “History, despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived but if faced with courage need not be lived again.”

Very close to this memorial are all that is left of the Tinworth Fountain. It was erected in 1872, but damaged during the Blitz.  Possibly in the same incident.

© DRW 2013-2018. Created 21/12/2016

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 13:25

Hollybrook Memorial: Southampton

The Hollybrook Memorial in Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton, commemorates by name almost 1,900 servicemen and women of the Commonwealth land and air forces* whose graves are not known, many of whom were lost in transports or other vessels torpedoed or mined in home waters (*Officers and men of the Commonwealth’s navies who have no grave but the sea are commemorated on memorials elsewhere). The memorial also bears the names of those who were lost or buried at sea, or who died at home but whose bodies could not be recovered for burial. Almost one third of the names on the memorial are those of officers and men of the South African Native Labour Corps, who died when the troop transport Mendi sank in the Channel following a collision on 21 February 1917. (Text from Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

Memorial at Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton

Memorial at Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton

The memorial makes for very sombre reading, especially when you consider that this is probably one of the only places where so many of these people are remembered. It covers both World Wars (there is also a dedicated WW2 plot in the Cemetery), and the highest ranking person on the memorial is Field Marshall Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, who died when the battle cruiser HMS Hampshire was mined and sunk off Scapa Flow on 5 June 1916, he is mentioned on plaque 01.

Mendi Corner

Mendi Corner (1497×752)

The Men of the Mendi are listed on plaques 3-19. Other ships of interest are the Union Castle ships Glenart and Galway Castle.

There are over 100 plaques on the memorial, testifying once again to the magnitude of the loss of life during the Two World Wars. It is a very thought provoking memorial, and a very special one to me as this is where the Mendi Men are remembered.

© DRW 2013-2018. Created 14/05/2016

Updated: 10/01/2018 — 20:21

The Art of Cemetery Statuery. (3)

Following on my posts about Cemetery Statuery in December 2011, I decided to devote another post to some of the statues I saw in Primrose Cemetery early in February 2012. This cemetery has some magnificent statues in it, but there does seem to be a concerted effort to vandalise as many of them as possible and a lot of the smaller angels have lost their limbs. However, the statues that remain are wonderful, and there are just so many. I am also covering a few of the one offs that I saw in other cemeteries in South Africa, so technically this post should not be very long. 
The oldest areas of the cemetery are the closest to the entrance and when I was there the grass had just been cut and it was looking wonderful.
I do not understand the mentality of those who would push a gravestone, or a statue off its pedestal. Unless the family makes a plan this poor angel will remain like this.
There are a lot of smaller cherubs and angels in Primrose, but they too have suffered under the vandals and weather. But some are still intact. 
The little china angel is sadly nearing its end, unless something is done about the cracked base it too will join the ranks of the broken.
This grouping is unusual, and both are in a good condition.
Of course statuery is not limited to angels and cherubs, many headstones are elaborate creations too. Nature still provides the best statues around,  and in spite of all the marble and granite beauty I cannot help but think that the trees are really the best examples of beauty that you can find.  
Primrose is the grand dame of Germiston. She has many moods and there is just so much to see and experience here. This cemetery is not just a resting place, it is an archive of history, and a glimpse into a different age altogether.  
Moving further afield, in Bethlehem I found this beaut, and it is the first time I have seen one like it. 
Closer to home is Burgershoop in Krugersdorp, and it had a lot of children’s graves in the one section, and they had been decimated by vandals.
Its not all doom and gloom though as some statuery has survived in this neglected place.
And that was Burgershoop.
The final cemetery I am visiting is Heidelberg Kloof. This grand old lady is wonderful, and she popped up a few surprises too.
I have always thought that this angel is slightly miffed at having been dislodged from their perch.
and Mariana Botha will be the last of this iteration of the art of Cemetery Statuery. I moved to the UK in 2013, and the angels I saw there are just as unique and beautiful as those I saw in South Africa. In fact, some were the same! which goes to show that you could buy them out of a catalogue.
The cemetery angels are often of museum quality, and all evoke their own reactions in a visitor. I enjoy seeing them, because they just add to the beauty of the cemetery,  and some have been watching over the graves for over a century, and hopefully will watch over them just a bit longer.
© DRWr 2012-2018. Images recreated 21/03/2016
Updated: 10/01/2018 — 20:43

Alexander Young VC

Alexander Young (27/01/1873 – 19/10/1916) Was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Anglo Boer War at Ruiters Kraal in 1901.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27373, Page: 7221, reads:

“Sergeant – Major Alexander Young.

Towards the close of the action at Ruiter’s Kraal on the 13th August, 1901, Sergeant-Major Young, with a handful of men, rushed some kopjes which were being held by Commandant Erasmus and about 20 Boers. On reaching these kopjes the enemy were seen galloping back to another kopje held by the Boers. Sergeant-Major Young then galloped on some 50 yards ahead of his party and closing with the enemy shot one of them and captured Commandant Erasmus, the latter firing at him three times at point blank range before being taken prisoner.”

He served with the 4th South African Infantry (South African Scottish) and was killed during the Battle of the Somme on 19 October 1916 and has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing in the Somme in France. Pier 4, Face C.

The Alexander Young VC entry at the South African War Graves Project

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Image courtesy of Ralph McLean and the South African War Graves Project

DRW © 2017-2020. Created 01/03/2017. Commemoration Image courtesy of Mark Green, Taddy & Co cigarette card by Card Promotions, ©1997, first issued 1902.

Updated: 05/01/2020 — 14:04

Twyning War Memorial. Church of St Mary Magdalene

This memorial to the men of the village of Twyning in Gloucestershire may be found inside the church of St Mary Magdalene at Church End. I could not help wondering whether there was only a World War One plaque and an additional had to be added after World War Two.

There are 6 war graves in the churchyard. The image below is taken in the South east corner.

The church may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates 52° 1.386’N, 2° 9.384’W.

DRW © 2016-2018. Created 23/02/2016

Updated: 10/01/2018 — 20:08
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