Ironville & Codnor Park War Memorial.

Unveiling and Dedication.

 

The parishioners of Codnor Park and Ironville can claim to possess one of the most substantial and beautiful monuments in the county.

This successful culmination is the result of patient effort and not a little sacrifice on the part of many of the subscribers.

After such a wintry week, the weather was all that could be desired for the unveiling ceremony, which took place on Sunday last in the presence of a large concourse of people.

At 1.30.pm., ex-Service men to the number of 300, assembled at the Erewash Bridge, under the command of Lieut. Harold Briddon, M.C., who was accompanied at the head of the contingent by Lieut. Llewelyn, and preceded by Riddings United Silver Prize Band. The route traversed was via King William Street, the crossings, and when nearing the Churchyard, where the memorial is erected on the south side under the tower, the mournful strains of the Dead March were heard.

At the side of the memorial cross was a reserved enclosure specially set aside for the relatives of the fallen. Two small boys, who were given seats in front, the elder of whom carried a bunch of chrysanthemums, presented pathetic figures-their father had made the supreme sacrifice.

The surpliced choir led the singing, accompanied by the band. The hymn, “O God our help in ages past,” was sung, followed by prayers and lesson by the Vicar (Rev. Douglas G. Smith).

Mr. H. Eustace Mitton, who presided over the proceedings, said they felt it an honour to have with them that afternoon Major-General C. C. Van Straubenzee, C.B., C.M.G., G.O.C. 45th Division, Derby. He had a great record of service for the country, which he loved. The monument had been erected by the parishioners to the memory of the 35 brave men who had answered the call and had laid down their lives. Let the memory of these brave men be ever in their thoughts. To the teachers who taught the children in the schools opposite, he urged that they help them to realise the meaning of the cross. To the relatives, on behalf of the parishioners, he extended their deep feeling and sympathy. “May the cross bring a small ray of brightness to their lives.” A short time ago the speaker had taken the opportunity of paying a visit to the graveyards of the fallen across the water. In one of the large churchyards in West Flanders, where lay many of the brave English boys, he saw the French women and peasants carefully and reverently tending the graves-a sight he would never forget. They owed much to the Allies for what they were doing. Before closing, he hoped the cross would help them to go forward.

The memorial, which was draped with Union Jack, was unveiled by the General, after which the chairman read the names of the 35 men who had made the supreme sacrifice.

Several minutes silence was followed by the sounding of the Last Post by the Bros. Taylor, of the Salvation Army.

After the dedication by the Vicar and the recital of the Lord’s Prayer, General Straubenzee addressed the gathering and said that he was proud to assist at the unveiling of the memorial, which had been erected to those gallant men who had lost their lives. Out of a small comparatively small population, 320 men of the parish had joined the fighting forces. That was a record of which they could be well proud. A great many of the men had served in the Sherwoods. He hoped they would all combine to give their support to their own county battalion. That ceremony was a fitting one to take place on Armistice Day. Five years ago, when the “cease fire” was sounded, mingled with the joy was the deep sorrow at the loss of many dear comrades. At the Armistice, they thought they had won the game, and all they had to do was put on their coats and sit down and enjoy the good times in store for them. Their country would not recover its prosperity if they were content to sit down and do nothing. He urged them to do all in their power to help their country. The people were the ones who could do it-surely it was worth it. They ought to be proud to live in dear old England. The British Empire stood for all that was honourable and just, and looked up to by the rest of the world. He could not do better than appeal to them to pull together and put their hearts into their work to help restore the prosperity of the country, so that its people would live happily and contentedly.

Lieut.-Col. H. J. A. Banks, D.S.O., in a brief address, said it was not the soldiers who made the war-they were the peacemakers, as the monument testified.

“Fight the good fight” was rendered, the Vicar said the Blessing, the Reveille was sounded, and the National Anthem sung, after which relatives of the fallen placed wreaths and floral tributes at the foot of the cross.

The memorial is in the form of a Runic Cross, made of Cornish granite, standing 13feet high, and measures across the base 5 feet by 4 feet, the whole being of rusticated finish. Carved in relief on the front is a Crusader’s sword. The inscriptions are engraved on finely axed panels. The one on the shaft of the cross reads, “1914-They died that we might live-1918”; on the second base is “Greater love hath no man than this.” The names of the following are engraved on the die block:-

Ashton L., Beresford J. E., Bogg G. T., Broome E., Carrington G., Cecil H. B., Darrington A., Earnshaw W. L., Edwards E. W., Elliott F., Green H., Gregory J., Gregory W., Hawley F., Heathcote S. W., Hill G. W., Hill S. R., Howard H., Hubball C., Lane P., Lear W. C. J., Leighton H. R., Longdon C., Moore J. L., Pitt J., Raybould J., Riley E., Riley J. W., Smith W. H., Statham I. B., Stokes A. W., Stuart T., Taylor J., Traunter E., Wright H.

The engraving and erection of the memorial has been carried out by an ex-Service man, Mr. E. Cope, of Riddings.

The foundation, which measures 8 feet by 7 feet 6 inches, has been laid by the Butterley Company; also the paving from the gateway to the monument.

 

1923 November 16th. Ripley and Heanor News.

 

WM

 

Dedication  emb (Embroidery from folder below)

 

In Christ Church, Ironville  there is a folder by Denise Scotece & Shirley Houseman that tells the story behind the men listed on the war memorial and more.  It is a Sterling piece of work. 

 

The War Memorial was refurbished during July 2016 back to its former glory.  There was a service of rededication on September 10th 2016. A brochure detailing the fallen was produced by JACHS. There was also a really well written article in the Nottingham Post.  To see these click on the icons below:

 

Brochure  NPArticle

 

 

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