On 4th August 1914, Britain declares war on Germany; the war ended on Monday 11th November 1918. The history of the War Memorial can be traced through the Parish Magazines published in 1918 and 1919 ....
The March 1918 Magazine reported that Mrs Thompson had presented a ‘Roll of Honour Card’, to be hung in the Church porch, listing all the sailors and soldiers who served their King and Country during the war. This was to be a temporary list and would be replaced by a more fitting Memorial once the war was over.
In the December 1918 Magazine: ‘We hope, as a parish, to erect somewhere a suitable and worthy Memorial of the men who have fought and died, fought and returned, been trained in one of the services, and have worked for the Nation at home or abroad during the War’. A Public Meeting was held in the Schoolroom, on 16th January 1919; it was decided to proceed with the War and Victory Memorial, honouring the men from Christian Malford. A Committee was appointed to collect information about Huts, Shrines, and Monuments, Stained Glass Windows, re-hanging of Church Bells, Lych Gates etc, and other possible memorials, and to report to the next public meeting. The first meeting of the Committee was on Thursday 27th February 1919. All the forms of memorial which had already been proposed were considered. It was decided to hold the next public meeting at the Schoolroom on Thursday 20th March 1919. The Chairman will report and explain the Committee’s conclusions and suggest the form and probable cost of the Memorials which seem to the Committee both possible and preferable.
In May 1919 a referendum resulted in a considerable majority of votes in favour of a monument on the Green. In June 1919, the War Memorial Committee, subject to the approval of a Public Meeting, would tender Messrs W Webb and Sons, of Chippenham, with the provision of a Wayside Cross, of Cornish granite, 9ft 6in in height and 3ft 6in at the base – inscribed with the names of the men who fell in the War, and placed on The Green. In addition to this it is proposed to place in the Church an oak tablet containing the names of all the men from this Parish who served in the War. The cost of the Memorial Cross will be £70 10s, not including the names and inscription, nor the tablet in the Church, and so an appeal for at least £80 is being made to the parishioners and some others who are deeply interested in the affairs of the Parish.. The results of the appeal were published in the September 1919 Magazine; £83 0s 3d was raised in just over two months against £95 1s - the deficit was cleared by December 1919. It was fantastic that the entire cost of the two War Memorials in Christian Malford was raised solely by voluntary contributions.
On 14th October 1919, the Lord Bishop of Bristol dedicated the War Memorials on the Green and in the Church in thankful and honoured memory of our own who fought and fell, and of many more who served and returned, in the Great European War, 1914 – 19. There are many who will never forget the strong muster of returned soldiers, who formed part of the great congregation and of the procession, in which also walked the Committee, the Choir and the Clergy, the Verger and the bugler, the Churchwardens, the Bishop and his Chaplain, and the children. Very striking were the heartiness of the Services, the singing of the hymns, and the National Anthem, and the thrilling notes of the Last Post and Reveille.
For a full transcript of the extracts from the Parish Magazine concerning the War Memorial and the published list of voluntary contributions click here.
The War Memorial remembers twelve servicemen, from Christian Malford, who gave their lives in World War 1 and three from World War 2. To find out a little about these brave men click on the name and follow the link.
For a listing of all those villagers who's names are recorded on the 'Roll of Honour' displayed in the Church - click here.