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Remembrance: Centenary of unveiling of Worth War Memorial reveals how Lord Beauchamp's tribute to The Fallen is still relevant

On September 18, 1920, the Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury newspaper printed a report of the official unveiling of Worth War Memorial.

The modest cenotaph had been unveiled by the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, the Right Honourable the Earl of Beauchamp, K.G., K.C.M.G. on the afternoon of Saturday September 11, 1920, in honour of the men from the parish who gave their lives for their country in the Great War 1914-1918.

Old postcard view of Worth War Memorial which was unveilled in 1920 (43020601)
Old postcard view of Worth War Memorial which was unveilled in 1920 (43020601)

In perfect weather, the ceremony went ahead in the presence of a large number of local residents from the village near Sandwich.

The monument consisted of a massive pyramid stone of Aberdeen granite, with a square plinth and three stepped base, designed and constructed by residents.

The site had been picked especially adjacent to the village pond and facing the parish church of St Peter and Paul at the roadside on The Street.

Set into the fascia of the granite was a bronze tablet displaying the names of 18 men from Worth who all made the ultimate sacrifice.

Prior to the official unveiling ceremony, the tablet was covered with a British Union flag, guarded by sailor Leading Seaman E. Hughes, H.M.S. Pembroke and a soldier, Trooper C. J. Nutter, of the 4th Dragoon Guards, on either side of it.

Lord Beauchamp, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Lord Beauchamp, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports

The service and the ceremony both took place in the open air beside the war memorial.

The commemoration was attended by Admiral Sir Reginald Henderson, Lady Henderson, Mrs WM Henderson, Lady Mary Montague, and Lady Muriel North. Lady Wright was with the vicar the Rev F. D. Hodgson and Mrs. Hodgson.

Earl Beauchamp arrived at the ceremony in Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports uniform accompanied by Lady Mary Lygon. Sir Reginald Henderson was responsible for presenting to Lord Beauchamp to members of the memorial committee. The service opened with the hymn “O God, our help in ages past”. The Vicar read selected sentences followed by the Lesson, which was read by Mr. Snasdell, and prayers in remembrance of the departed.

“I often feel that we cannot do enough to show how grateful we are, and how much we honour the men who went out from amongst us to die for England... Lord Beauchamp"

In his address Lord Beauchamp said: “I often feel that we cannot do enough to show how grateful we are, and how much we honour the men who went out from amongst us to die for England, and therefore it is that I am very glad to be allowed to share with you in the ceremony today, and to say how much we owe to every man who went out from Worth, as we do to all the men who out from Englandto do battle for us.

"And now we are met specially to honour those from this village, who gave their lives for the country, whatever particular service they may have been in.”

“But there are other people whom on occasion like this I like to think, not least of the women of this country, whose staunch courage was one of the greatest helps that this country could have had. Women who bravely allowed their dearest ones to go out, and who for years lived in torment and anguish, wondering what bad news a telegram might at any moment bring them.

"That demanded great courage, and there are some of these women here this afternoon, to whom I like to say I am sure that Englishmen for many years to come will render them the homage of gratitude, which is their due.”

A plaque remembered the men from Worth who died in the First World War between the years of 1914-1918. A second plaque pays tribute to two village men who died in the Second World War
A plaque remembered the men from Worth who died in the First World War between the years of 1914-1918. A second plaque pays tribute to two village men who died in the Second World War

Lord Beachchamp continued his speech by saying “These men gave everything they had, and we who are here today wish to offer our most respectful and deepest sympathy to the relatives who are with us today, and to assure them that we join with them in this tribute of affectionate respect, which the village is paying to these men today.

"We hope that in the years to come we and those, who come after us, will also remember to learn some lesson, however small, and to be ready to give up something for the sake of the country for which these men gave their lives.”

Lord Beauchamp then proceeded with unveiling the tablet on the memorial, and prayer of dedication, silent prayer, and the Blessing, concluded the service. The Last Post was then sounded by two buglers of the Royal Marines, before wreaths were laid onto the memorial by relatives and friends of the Fallen.

Worth War Memorial today (43020605)
Worth War Memorial today (43020605)

The 18 men named on the bonze plaque are: Sapper Fredreick Thomas Chapman, Private Cecil Perry Foster, Private James Richard Friend, Private John Thomas Friend, Gunner Charles Edward Gibbens, D.S.O. Brevet Lieutenant Herbert Walter Green, Vice Admiral Frank Hannam Henderson, 2nd Lieutenant Cyril Francis Hodgson, Lance Corporal Arthur George Hoile, Sub Lieutenant Samuel George James, Private William George Johnson, Private William Long, Able Seaman Frank Moat, Private Arthur Parker, Private Frank Roy Parker, Corporal Wilfred Arthur Saunders, Able Seaman William George Seymour, Private John Sutton, and Sergeant John Raymond Welburn.

Worth War Memorial commemorates two men who died during the Second World War between 1939-1945.

John Raymond Welburn and Ellison Murray-Woods are named on an additional bronze plaque affixed to the granite.

Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich

Read more: All the latest news from Deal

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