Sussex Agricultural Express - Friday 01 July 1921
WESTFIELD MEMORIAL. UNVEILING BY COLONEL COURTHOPE. A CALL TO DUTY AND LOYALTY.
With impressive military honours, the unveiling and dedication of the Westfield Parish War Memorial look place on Sunday afternoon. The monument is in the form of a simple cross of Portland stone, set on a high plinth, and has been erected on the little green in front of the churchyard, in the shade of the Jubilee oak tree. The ancient church, with its lych-gate, forms a fitting background to the scene.
Inscribed on a marble tablet affixed to the memorial are the words: "In grateful memory of the men of Westfield whose names are recorded below, who gave their livess in the Great War, 1914-1918." Then follow the names of the fallen, 26 in all, as here printed: Henry Henry Baker, Albert Ball, William Barrow, Stephen Blackman, Lewis Crampton Barden, Owen Carrick, Frederick James Catt, Royce Anthony Combe, Anthony Robert Gain, Louis Robert Garside, Montagu Albert Godfrey, Reginald Gutsell, Albert Victor Hartill, Frances Albert Martin. Eric Frank Penn, Percy Edward Pettit, Charles Henry Stunt, Ernest John Stunt, Lester William Stunt, Frederick George Taylor, Robert William Thomas, Frederick Thomas Waters, Frederick Ernest Watson, Leonard Dearl Wheeler, Norman James Wheeler, William John Wheeler. In large hronxe figures on the lower part of the plinth are the dates 1914- 1918.
Lieut.-Colonel G. L. Courthope, M.C., M.P., commanding the 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, performed the unveiling ceremony, and among other officers present in uniform were: Major W. H. Mullens, D.L., J.P., Major A. Carlisle Sayer, D.S.O., M.C., Captain Wallace, Captain P. Woodhams, J.P., Captain H. A. Combe, and Lieut. Hollebone.
A guard of honour for the memorial was furnished by the Royal Sussex Defence Force Battalion, now encamped at Baldslow, and the drum and bugle band of the Battalion also attended. Before the service began the guard of honour, consisting of four men in charge of a sergeant, took posts at each corner of the monument, and rested on their arms reversed. The Westfield ex-Service men marched to the scene under the command of Major Sayer, headed by the 5th Sussex Band, who played spirited music. The Sedlescombe ex-Service men, under Captain Combe, also attended, as did the Westfield Scouts, in charge of Scoutmaster H. P. Spreadbury. Among the large general congregation were many the relatives and friends of the fallen.
The Vicar of Westfield (the Rev. E. J. Morgan) conducted the service, which opened with the hinging of "Onward Christian Soldiers," this and the other hymns being accompanied by the Seddlescombe Village Band, under Bandmster A. J. Weller.
COLONEL COURTHORPE'S ADDRESS.
Before unveiling the memorial, Colonel Courthope gave a brief address. They were gathered there, he said, to consecrate the memory of the gallant men of Westfield who laid down their lives in the Great War. He supposed there was no one there whose heart was not full with the thought of some dear one who had made the great sacrifice. It was right that they should mourn their loss, and yet that dedication ceremony should bring to them many thoughts besides those of sorrow. They should be uplifted with the proud memory of the great things done by those whom they mourned.
"Proudly they gathered, rank on rank to war,
As who had heard God's summons from afar.
All they had hoped for, all they had they gave
To save mankind - themselves they scorned to save.
Splendid they passed, the great surrender made,
Into the Light that nevermore shall fade.
Deep their contentment in that blest abode,
Who wait the last loud trumpet call of God."
Those men in dying for their country had achieved the highest honour of all, and let those who loved them glory in the thought of it. While we thought of them and mourned for them, we should determine that we should live worthily of the cause for which they died. These were difficult days. It was not easy to put self aside and to be loyal to one's King and one's fellow men, but we must try to do it. And that memorial would help. It would, he hoped and thought, be an inspiration to all who passed by towards high ideals of loyalty and duty, and while it kept bright the memory of those who fell in the Great War, might it also fill the rest of them who remained with resolution that whatever our lot might be, we would do our duty as they did theirs.
The Union Jack draped round the memorial was then removed by Colonel Courthope, and the Vicar solemnly dedicated the monument. The hymn, "O God our Help in ages past," was sung, and a reading from the Gospel of St. John, vi., 37. was given by the Rev. T. W. Down (United Methodist minister). Prayer was offered by the Vicar, and the hymn, "All people that on earth do dwell," was sung. The Blessing having been given, the military buglers sounded the "Last Post" with moving effect, followed by the "Reveille," during which the sentries presented arms. With the playing of the National Anthem by the Sedlescombe Band the service concluded. Many beautiful floral tributes to the fallen were subsequently placed round the base of the memorial, where there had previously been deposited a large laurel wreath from the Westfield ex-Service men, inscribed: "In grateful memory of our Comrades."