Walkern War Memorial

by janet on 24 November 2011 · 3 comments

Walkern War Memorial: Unveiling and Dedication, 3 July 1921

The main figures in the photo are Mr Bye the Wesleyan Minister, Mr Askew the School Master and Parish Clerk, Mr Miles with the choir, Miss Cotton Brown unveiling the memorial with the Revd Eustace Mills partly obscured by her, and Mr Camp, the estate carpenter, with the flag

[An article in The Hertfordshire Mercury published on Saturday 9 July 1921]

“Erected to the Glory of God, and in Loving Memory of the men of this Parish who gave their lives for God and Country.? ?Honour and Deepest gratitude to all who fought in the Great War, 1914-1918.? These sentences on the Walkern War Memorial were the keynote of the service ? reverence, honour and gratitude ? at the unveiling, which took place on Sunday in memory of the 30 men of the parish who gave their lives in the great struggle for freedom, 1914-1918.

The proceedings commenced with a procession of the 1st Herts Territorial Band under Bandmaster Sergt. Nash, followed by a number of local ex-service men, the choir of the Parish church, and the school children. These formed two sides of a triangle to the memorial, while relatives of the fallen formed the other. The hymn ?On the Resurrection Morning? was accompanied by the Band. The Rector, the Rev WE Mills MA, in his address, reminded his hearers that they were gathered to do honour to the fallen who had died on the Cross of Sacrifice, and that it was right their memorial should be in the form of a Cross as a symbol of the great sacrifice they made; that their memorial was in one of the most lasting forms of stone itself as near imperishable as things could be in this constantly changing world. The men who went, expected, and were promised, a better world, but up to now their expectations had not materialized. If his hearers would register a solemn vow to try and do their best, to give more and expect less, then at least one spot of this England of ours would be better and brighter.

The Memorial Cross was then unveiled by Miss Cotton-Browne. The ?Last Post? was sounded by Bandmaster Sergt. Nash and Sergt-Instructor Carpenter. The Rector then dedicated the memorial in words most impressive. The hymn ?When I survey the wondrous Cross? was sung during which a large number of floral tributes were placed on the memorial.

The Rev TA Pye MA, LLM, read the lesson from Joshua iv, 1-8, 20-24. In the course ofa most inspiring address he told those present that life was not a matter of years, but of deeds, that the most wonderful life ever lived, that of Jesus Christ Himself, only lasted 33 years. During that period He uttered the most profound truths and did the noblest actions any man ever has done. The hymn ?The Supreme Sacrifice? was then sung, the Rector gave the Blessing, ?Reveille? was sounded by the buglers, and the band played the National Anthem. This concluded the service.

The Memorial is a handsome Cross in Forest of Dean stone, with a bronze wreathe and sword at the top, and reflects great credit on the architect, Captain Wilson of Victoria Street, London, and to the craftsmanship of Mr G Preston of Benington, to whom the work of erecting the Cross was entrusted.

At the base of the plinth on one side are the two sentences quoted above, while the remaining three sides have the names of the fallen inscribed. The following are the names:

Sergeant Gilbert Albone 6th Beds Regt
Private Cuthbert Albone 1st Herts Regt
Private John Belchamber 4th Royal Sussex Regt
Private George Clements 9th Essex Regt
Private Arthur Clements 4th West Riding Regt
Private Ernest Carter Beds Regt
Private Arthur Carter 4th Beds Regt
Private Reginald Carter 1st Herts Regt
Private Cecil Cordell 1st Herts Regt
Private Henry Edwards 1st Herts Regt
Gunner Peter Fitzjohn TMB RFA
Leading Seaman Percy Goodchild HMS Defiance
Ordinary Seaman George Groom HMS Formidable
Private George Green 1st Essex Regt
Rifleman Randolph Green 8th City of London Regt
Rifleman Reginald Green 2nd King?s Royal Rifle Corps
Private John Hale Royal Fusiliers
Private Bert Hart 20th Hussars
Private Stanley Knight 2nd Royal Berks
Signaller Arthur Mackie 1st Beds Regt
Gunner Fred Mace Tank Corps
Private Henry Osborne 10th East Kent
Private Jesse Parker Notts & Derby Regt
Private Walter Savage 3rd Royal Sussex Regt
Private Charles Spicer 1st Herts Regt
Private Alfred Savage MT ASC
Lance-Corporal Wilfred Smith Queen?s Royal West Surrey Regt
2nd Lieutenant Donald S Wright 8th Beds Regt
Private Harold Warner MT ASC

The following people were added to Walkern War Memorial after the 1939-1945 war

Lance Corporal Eric Barwick 1st Herts Regt
Chief Petty Officer Charles Canning HMS Porcupine
Private Fred A Clements 5th Suffolk Regt
Petty Officer Frederick Milton HMS Fleur de Lys
Private Stanley Sheppard 8th Field Regt, Royal Artillery


Robin Mills, son of Rev W Eustace Mills, the Rector of St Mary?s who conducted the dedication service for the war memorial, wrote to the Walkern Journal that ?Father was always worried

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather Sheppard November 13, 2016 at 7:27 pm

Thinking of my Uncle, Stanley Harold Sheppard, of Walkernbury Farm, who is honoured on your memorial. Also remembering my late Father, Frank Sheppard and Uncle, Donald Sheppard, who survived their time as POWs with the Japanese.

Remembrance Sunday


James Savage December 27, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Thank you so much for the most valuable and interesting information produced by your Society.
I have reason to believe that I am related to Walter and Alfred Savage who fell during WW1, according to the list of Walkern War Memorial names on your web site. I am currently researching my family tree and would welcome any correspondence/information from members of ‘The Walkern Savage family’ if any are still in residence in your village or indeed from any source.
I also have a question regarding Alfred Savage, Pte M349525, that perhaps you can assist with. The typed graves registration report form (original document?) on the CWGC (WW1 Casualty Details) web site states that Alfred died 25th Feb 2018 (subsequently amended by hand to 25th Feb 2019). So did Alfred die in 1918 or 1919? If it was 1919, was it from a war induced illness/injury resulting in the remark on the report ‘died from influenza whilst on active service’. If it was 1918 was it in battle and if so where did he die? Kind Regards, Jim.


Racheal Savage January 10, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Hi my name is Racheal savage, I am the direct descendent of walter and fred, they are my great great great uncles. My Children are the last of the savage line so far. I would love to talk to you and share information with you about this.


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