Thursday, 10 November 2011

MIDDLEWICH'S WAR MEMORIAL 1934

Photo: FBS Images
Now would seem to be a good time to go back 77 years to the original unveiling of our town's main War Memorial in the Bullring. 1934 is surprising late for the erection of such a memorial. Most of them were erected in the 1920s, a fact that probably accounts for Messrs Curson & Hurley in Middlewich - Images of England (Tempus Publishing 2005) captioning photos of the occasion as happening in 'the early 20s'.
As always, Allan Earl in Middlewich 1900-1950 (Cheshire Country Publishing 1994) has the truth of the matter. The unveiling was on the 18th November 1934 and a full account of the occasion is included in Allan's book (Pages 139-141).
The memorial (or 'cenotaph' as it is referred to by many locals) stayed in this position for 38 years until, as part of the 'Piazza' redevelopment of 1972, it was moved closer to the churchyard and re-dedicated as shown in the series of slides we've been featuring over the last few months.
In 2005, as we have seen, the area was redeveloped again but the memorial stayed more or less where it was.
Appropriately, the War Memorial bears a quotation from Middlewich historian Charles Frederick Lawrence:
'Through all eternity their names shall bide,
Enshrined as heroes who for Empire died'
The War Memorial as it was in 1972 after re-dedication in its new position on the 'Piazza'.
To the left of the picture the Talbot Hotel in Kinderton Street can be seen.

Facebook Feedback:

Chris Koons Wow! Who knew there were so many people IN Middlewich?

Dave Roberts Amazing isn't it? We have a good crowd every year for Remembrance Day, but I don't think there's ever been anything on that scale since the 1930s.

Geraldine Williams Interesting to see the Brauer Opticians and Pharmacy shop.
Miss Brauer was Brown Owl of the Middlewich Brownie pack for many years and her sister, Mrs Margaret Hall, was the Girl Guides' leader. Mrs Hall was also a pharmacist and dispensed at that shop.
After the shop was demolished she did some locum work at various chemists.
The shop, presumably, was owned by their father.
And what an amazing turnout. Those people standing near the church wouldn't see, or hear, any of the service. It's a sobering thought that just five years later additional names would start to be added to the Memorial. I imagine no one at this dedication service was anticipating that.
   




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