When I was researching the men on the War Memorial I came across this report in the Derbyshire Courier 26th February 1921, of when the War Memorial at Old Whittington was unveiled. (Transcription below)
I have transcribed it exactly as it appears in the newspaper.
SYMBOL OF GRIT
War Memorial Unveiled at Old Whittington
Old Whittington War Memorial was dedicated and unveiled on Sunday afternoon before a large crowd. There were present the Whittington Moor, the New Whittington and the Old Whittington branches of the Comrades of the Great War, the 2nd Whittington Girl Guides, the Sheepbridge Britannia Lodge of Buffaloes, the Staveley Comrades Military Band and the Sheepbridge Works Brass Band, as well as a congregation of about a thousand.
The monument is surmounted by a four fold cross, and in this feature it is probably unique. It is built entirely of Derbyshire Grit, symbolical(as Mr E D Swanwick, the treasurer to the war Memorial Committee, aptly put it) of the grit of the men whose memory it commemorated. The cross stands immediately in front of the old Revolution House. It was designed by Mr J Syddall and constructed by Mr T Moxon, both local men. It cost £331 3s and up to date, including a sum of £42 4s 8d brought forward from the Peace Demonstration Funds, £253 4s 11d has been received, leaving a deficit of £77 18s 1d.
The Memorial was unveiled by Brigadier-General G M Jackson, who said it devolved upon the present generation, who went through the War and who lived with and knew the valiant heroes whose memories were being commemorated, to see that these men had not given their lives in vain, and to see that the ideals for which they fought and died, were eventually realised. In these days of abnormality, and in the aftermath of War, it behoved us to keep before our eyes the sacrifices which had been made by these heroes. Derbyshire had a glorious record. Something like 10 per cent of the whole population of the county went to the War, and of these about one in seven were killed.
Mr J H Green, the Chairman of the War Memorial Committee, commenting on the number of wreaths and flowers brought by the bereaved wives and parents to place at the foot of the Memorial, said he hoped all the flowers would not be saved for those who were dead.
“I think it is better to strew flowers in the path of people while they live rather than save them until they are dead” he said.
Mr Barnet Kenyon MP said, as surely as we had risen out of what appeared to be a hopeless condition of things in 1917, so should we rise out of the present industrial troubles if only we grappled with the situation in the same spirit that helped the men and women of Whittington to give that Memorial in commemoration of their dead. Now they had fought and won, he wanted them to remember there was one thing to realise – he was speaking to employers and employed – and that was that the remedy to get back to normality was in their own hands.
The dedication service was conducted by the Rev. G Ford, Rector of Whittington, and the Rev. G Elliott Lee, of Staveley.
The names inscribed on the Memorial are: Horace Aaron, Harry Adams, John Atkinson, George Barber, (Actually George Barker), George Bates, William Arthur Belfitt, Reginald Benton, Wm Henry Bestwick, George Bonson, Arthur Booth, William Bowman, John T Bunting, Robert Bunting, Alexander Carlile, John Carlile, Percy Carlile, Frank Charnley, Matthew Clayton, Vincent Cook, Norman Dennison, Reginald Draycott, Bernard Dyson, Kenneth Eveleigh, Abraham Fearn, George Isaac Fearn, Charles Fearn, William Fisher, William Leslie Gaunt, Herbert Gaunt, Ernest Gilberthorpe, Archibald H Gill, Harold S Green, C G Hemstock, William Hewitt, Clarence Hewitt, Albert Hewitt, Henry Higginbottom, George Kirk, Joseph Kynaston, William Leachman, Charles Leggitt, Horace Lewis, Charles Lievesley (DCM), Fred Lilliman, Harry Lilliman, Christopher Loomes (DCM), Bertram Love, Thomas Mason, Frederick. C Massey, Fred Mitchell, John McGee, Archie Newell, John Newey, Joseph Norton, Stanley Pardy, T W S Pendleton, W Henry Reynolds, Seth Rich, Fred Robinson, J W Shawcroft, John Short, John Smedley, George Sims, John Smith, John Smitheman, Ben Siddall, George Straw, Fred Taylor, Harry Taylor, George Thorne, Joseph Thurman, William James Thurman, J Vaughan, Sam Waine, Frederick Walker, J T Warrick, Ernest Watts, Frank Wheelhouse, William Whitmore, H Widdowson, William Wood
It sounds as though it would have been a very moving event for the bereaved families. Looking at the names listed like this I now realise how much more research I have to do.
Again I would ask if any descendants would like to share any information or photographs on the website then I would love to hear from them. I can be contacted via this website or via the facebook page Old Whittington one Place Study.
Photo courtesy of Chesterfield Museum