The Memorial

On Monday 2nd December 1918 a meeting was held at Wickham School to arrange for a War Memorial for the Parish.  The meeting was well attended and a committee was appointed, as follows:

Rev C E Hardy, Chairman
Rector of Welford
Rev R J Burbidge, Secretary & Treasurer   
Curate of Welford
Mrs Le Mesurier
Miss Hodgson
Hoe Benham (Mrs Batson's niece)
Col Francis
No information
W Pope
Welford Gardens
J Simmons
A T Willis
Sole Farm
F Masters
Easton Farm
E T Brown
Baker & Grocer, Welford
R Brooks
Wickham Green Farm

Subscriptions were invited, and by January 1919 £112 had been collected, with more still to come in (see List of Subscribers).

On Friday 7th March 1919 a further committee meeting was held at the School and plans for the Memorial were submitted for consideration.  In May, the decision was made to erect a Celtic Cross of Cornish granite near the Welford to Wickham road, and the order was placed.

Due to strikes in the Cornish quarries there was a delay in obtaining the stones, and they took several months to arrive.  The work was executed by Messrs Thorn and Sons of Newtown Road, Newbury. 

The Memorial was finally unveiled before a large gathering of the inhabitants of the parish, including the schoolchildren, on the afternoon of Saturday 14th February 1920.  A short service was conducted by the Reverends Hardy and Burbidge, following which the unveiling ceremony was performed by Major H L Archer-Houblon of Welford Park, with the words:

“To the Glory of God and in Memory of the Men of the parish who gave their lives for their Country this Memorial is unveiled”.

The service concluded with the dedication prayers being read by the Rector, a final hymn and the Blessing.  A number of wreaths were then laid around the Memorial by relatives and friends of the fallen.

The path up to and around the Memorial was added in 1925.  

In May 1921, an oaken tablet, with a list of names and inscription similar to that on the Memorial, was hung at Wickham School and unveiled and dedicated in the presence of schoolchildren, teachers and parish residents.  The unveiling was performed by Major General T S Baldock CB, who had commanded 49th (West Riding) Division during the war, after which Captain Charrington RN DSO of Wormstall House gave a short address.  At the time of writing, the tablet is located in Welford church.