Written by W Lawrance on July 8th, 2011. Posted in Places of Interest, War Memorials

Steep War MemorialThe memorial at Steep is quiet and unobtrusive, set back from the road on a quiet turning. It consists of a stone built, roofed tower structure with a simple engraved plaque, containing the names of 54 men of Steep, including the poet Edward Thomas, who gave their lives during the First World War. Of these names, there are several “repeats”, that is to say, names that appear more than once, and of these although others may be distantly related, two have been discovered to come from the same direct family. These are:

Frederick and William EADE
Frederick Eade was born in 1886, and like his brother William, who was six years younger, worked before the war as a domestic gardener, living with their parents at 53 Rushes Road, Petersfield. Both brothers joined the 14th Hampshire Regiment and went to fight at the front. William, the younger of the two was the first to die, on 3rd September 1916 and he is buried at the Ancre British Cemetery at Beaumont-Hamel. His older brother, Frederick died on 11th December 1916 at Wimereux, near Boulogne (which probably means he died from wounds inflicted on the battlefield, Wimereux being the site of a major First World War hospital).

Alan and Arthur HEALEY
Alan Healey was born in 1888, the son of William Healey and his wife Martha, who lived at “Mabledon” Tilmore Gardens, Petersfield. He was married to Elizabeth Jane Healey and they lived together at 34 Greenway Cottages, Tiverton, Devon. When the First World War was declared, Alan Healey enlisted as a private with the 10th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment and, following his training, was sent to Gallipoli, where he arrived on 5th August 1915. Five days later, he was killed in action and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. Alan’s younger brother, Arthur Wilfred Healey was born on 21st October 1898 and was only seventeen years old when he enlisted in the 14th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. He was sent to France on 5th March 1916 where he saw action on the Somme and at Passchendaele the following year, rising through the ranks to become a sergeant. Despite still only being nineteen years old, Arthur was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on 26th February 1918 and was transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment. He was killed in action during the Second Battles of the Somme on 1st September 1918 and is buried at Beaulencourt British Cemetery, Ligny-Thilloy, near Bapaume.

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Written by W Lawrance on June 13th, 2011. Posted in Places of Interest, War Memorials

Burwash MemorialThe village of Burwash may well date back to the 11th Century, and certainly the church which stands at its heart, The Church of St Bartholomew, was built in 1090. Over the ensuing centuries, this picturesque market town expanded, until by the mid-eighteenth century, it housed over fifty shops, which continued to thrive until the improvements in transportation during the Victorian times, allowed people to travel further afield.

Now, although some shops remain, it is a mainly residential village, boasting several pubs, a few shops and some very pretty houses.

Outside the church stands the village war memorial, unveiled in 1920. Beneath the cross at the top of the memorial is a light, which is lit on the anniversary of the death of each of the men commemorated. The memorial features the names of sixty-three local men, including John Kipling, who gave their lives during the First World War, together with fourteen from the 1939-1945 conflict.

Names on the Burwash MemorialMany of the names on this memorial are repeated. For example, there are three men with the surname of Pennells, Hepden, and Funnell, and two named Mepham, Hope, Dann and Brook, showing that the First World War had an enormous impact on the families living in this small village.

In the Church itself, there is a second memorial tablet which records the same names, as well as an oval bronze plaque which commemorates the death of John Kipling. This was the first commercial work undertaken by Charles Wheeler, who went on to become President of the Royal Academy of Arts. During the war, Wheeler was deemed unfit to serve and worked, instead on modelling artificial limbs for amputees.

In the churchyard, there stand several Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstones, distinctive in their uniformity. These mark the burial spot of some of the men from both world wars who were, presumably, wounded on the field of battle and died later, having been transferred back to England.


Written by W Lawrance on May 11th, 2011. Posted in Places of Interest, War Memorials

Esher MemorialThe war memorial at Esher in Surrey, stands on the Green near to Christ Church, a Victorian Gothic building whose tall spire dominates the surroundings.

It takes the form of a simple stone cross, mounted on an octagonal tapering column. This stands on an octagonal plinth, which bears the names and inscriptions of the local men who gave their lives during both World Wars.

The names of sixty-nine First World War combatants are inscribed on bronze plaques on four alternate sides of the plinth and among them are six surnames which appear more than once, suggesting that some local families lost more than one member during the conflict.

The fallen of the Second World War have their names inscribed onto the plinth itself.


Esher and R C Sherriff

Esher is a town in the Borough of Elmbridge in Surrey, approximately 14 miles south-west of London, best known perhaps as the home of Sandown Race Course, although other local places of interest include Wayneflete Tower and Claremont House and Gardens. Dating back to the early eighteenth century Claremont House is now the home of Claremont Fan Court School, but it was once a royal residence and a particular favourite of Queen Victoria and her family. During the First World War, the building was used as a hospital for wounded officers.

R C Sherriff spent a great deal of his life in Esher, living in his beloved house, Rosebriars. During this time he became a somewhat reluctant local celebrity, although hampered by extreme shyness and nerves. He took a keen interest in the arts and harboured hopes that, upon his death, his home and its six acres of grounds, would be turned into an art centre. Unfortunately, this was not to be, although the property was sold and the money raised was used to create the Rosebriars Trust. This is a charitable organisation with the aim of advancing and developing the arts of the Borough of Elmbridge.

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Written by W Lawrance on May 10th, 2011. Posted in Places of Interest, War Memorials

Mells War MemorialThe unusual memorial at Mells in Somerset depicts St George slaying the dragon which surmounts a Tuscan pillar.

This was reputedly copied from a statue in the chapel of Henry VII in Westminster Abbey. Beneath the column is a long curved seat, made from Portland stone and an integral stone wall, inscribed with the names of local men who died during the First World War, including Edward Horner and his brother-in-law, Raymond Asquith.

To this was added two circular panels engraved with the names of the fallen from the Second World War.

Like many other features in the village, the memorial was designed by Edwin Landseer Lutyens, a friend of the Horner family.



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