Campden War Memorials

Judith Ellis

The unveiling of Campden's war memorial, designed by F L Griggs.
The unveiling of Campden's war memorial, designed by F L Griggs.
Jazz Band formed in 1919 to raise money for Campden War Memorial
Jazz Band formed in 1919 to raise money for Campden War Memorial
Jazz Band performing in the Square to raise funds for war memorial
Jazz Band performing in the Square to raise funds for war memorial
Jazz Band performing in the Square withschoolchildren
Jazz Band performing in the Square withschoolchildren

As well as the prominent memorial in the centre of Campden, there are others in different locations that include more men and together make a fitting tribute to those who were involved in both World Wars.

As early as 1916, J.W. Pyment & Sons had received permission to erect a wooden war memorial near the Town Hall and had suggested that plans should be made for a permanent memorial. After 1918 the proposals were considered in ernest: there were six diverse suggestions including two different ones for a cross:  a simple cross, suggested by Miss Josephine Griffiths, and a more elaborate one by Paul Woodroffe.  The other ideas were the extension of the Town Hall by fifteen feet to house a men’s club, the construction of workmen’s cottages, a drinking fountain, and a nurses’ home.  In the end, Woodroffe’s proposal of a cross on ground in front of the Post Office which was then London House, was agreed.

The committee was divided and two thoroughly acrimonious public meetings were held.  In the end a vote was taken and the proposal to accept Grigg’s scheme was carried. The carving and lettering was done by Alec Miller and Edgar Keen, who donated their labour.  Over £700 was raised to cover other costs and stone from Westington Quarry was given by Lord Gainsborough and sand also sent from the Harrowby estate.  A jazz band was formed by workers from Ellis’s basket shop, where the musical Hathaway family worked, and led by comedian, Tom Hook, they toured the streets and inns and helped to swell the funds.

After many delays and problems the memorial was finally completed in time for the opening in January, 1921. More of the story is told in the attached document.

The other memorials will be featured soon: please come back to this page.

 

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