Denaby War Memorial – Unveiling & Dedication

January 1922

Mexborough and Swinton Times, January 7

Denaby War Memorial.
A Tablet in the Parish Church.
Unveiling and Dedication.

On Sunday afternoon, during a service, the keynote of which was simplicity and dignity, Denaby Main paid tribute to the 150 men of that parish, who fell in the late war.

These names are inscribed on a handsome bronze tablet erected on the north wall of the nave of All Saints Church, Denaby Main, and this tablet was on Sunday afternoon unveiled by General Sir Alington Bewicke Copley, C.B.of Sprotborough Hall, and dedicated by the Bishop of Sheffield.

The church was well filled, the relatives of the fallen men being well represented. There was a strong detachment of the Denaby Main Ambulance Brigade, with the Denaby Nursing Division, under the command of superintendent H.C.Harrison. The band of the Brigade headed a procession to church, and were installed in the North Chapel, where they accompanied the singing. Included in the procession were ex-Service men and members of friendly societies.

The service, which was very beautiful and impressive, was conducted by the vicar of Denaby Main, the Rev Harry Lee, who was assisted by the reverent S.F.Hawkes, of London, a former vicar of Denaby, who revisited his old parish in order to be present at the ceremony. The service opened with the singing of the hymn, “O God, our help.”. The Lesson (from Revelations) was read by the reverent S.F.Hawkes

In unveiling the tablet, Sir Alington Bewicke Copley said he felt it a great honour to be entrusted with this function. It was one of the deepest disappointments of his life when he was not permitted to serve his country overseas in the late war, but it was a great honour and privilege to be associated now in spirit with soldiers, among whom he had spent the greater part of his life. In this case, also, there was a clause local association which he was proud to claim.

The war had been a horrible calamity, as war always must be, leaving in its train crowded hospitals and cemeteries, but there was a brighter side. These men had suffered and fought for the liberty of their land and kinsmen, and to hand down a heritage of freedom for those who were to carry on their race. We must treasure and keep bright that gift, so freely and willingly made. At this Christmas time we must pray heartily for the reign of peace and goodwill, and for the success of such movements as the Washington Conference, and the Irish Pact, and for the extension of the new spirit of moderation and understanding between employers and employees. Above all, we should be inspired, by the sacrifice we were met to commit to renew our vows of service to God and our country.

The Memorial was then unveiled and dedicated and then a trumpeter (Mr W Glasby) sounded the last post

The Bishop proceeded to address the congregation. The Bishop said he could not imagine a more appropriate day for such an occasion. New Year’s Daylooked both ways – to the past and the future, so also the Memorial remembered what had been done, and what was significant and what remained to be done.

Those who hereafter were to inspect the Memorial will surely be so by several thoughts. They would be shown that there were occasions when the call of the country overruled everything. He (the Bishop) dearly loved his country, for heowed it much, but even he had been amazed at the passion and universally the response to the call of the country on the occasion of the late war.

The Memorial also stood for the unity and comradeship of the nation and Empire. It was significant, too, of the readiness in a crisis of great numbers of devoted patriots to take supreme risks. There were occasions in the lives of many others when the race of death, sudden and horrid, most boldly faced in a great cause, and we were proud of our race, thankful for our breed, when we looked upon such memorials as this. The Memorial also stood for the full Christian ideal which had beendone for the highest, grandest, noblest thing in the world – readiness for sacrifice.

The hymns, “For all the saints”, and “On the resurrection morning,” and Kipling’s “recessional” was sung, and the service concluded with a national Anthem and the Benediction.

As a congregation dispersed, the organist played “Land of Hope and Glory.” During the service, several wreaths, including one from the Denaby Main Ambulance Brigade, were laid before the tablet.

The excellent arrangements for the service were made by the reverent H.Lee, assisted by the churchwardens, Mr M.M.Cocker and Mr W Wilkinson, and the secretary of the Church Council, Mr J. Engeldow.