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Author Topic: Waldron War Memorial  (Read 81 times)
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Craggs
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« on: December 15, 2016, 08:48:12 AM »

Waldron is a village situated about two miles outside the town of Heathfield, East Sussex and about a mile from the village of Cross-in-Hand (where I live).

Waldron war memorial stands in the centre of the village, close to All Saint's Church and The Star Inn, on what was once the village green and is now generally referred to as the village cross-roads.

The memorial is a Grade II listed monument.   The principal inscription reads 'IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THE MEN FROM THE PARISH OF WALDRON WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR GOD, KING AND COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WARS 1914-1918 AND 1939-1945 THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE'. The original inscription has been modified to include those who died during the Second World War by adding 'S' to the end of 'WAR' and the dates '1939-1945' under the existing inscription.

The memorial is one of those built with foundations that haven't lasted - the following is a quote from "The War Memorials Trust" which gives a good idea why the foundations crumbled and why it had to be rebuilt.

Quote
his war memorial is made from Forest of Dean stone, a type of sandstone. It is in the form of a wheel cross on top of an octagonal column mounted on a pedestal and octagonal stepped base. In some places the lettering is flush lead and others it is enamelled.

It is located in Waldron, near Heathfield in East Sussex. It was unveiled in July 1920 and over 2000 people attended the event.

The memorial has received multiple grants and the summary details of this record relate to the most recent grant.

The memorial’s custodian had noticed it was leaning and it was suspected that there were weak foundations. An initial grant of £4,000 was offered to investigate this matter by removing the steps, seeing what was beneath and strengthening the foundation. However, it was soon realised that more substantial works were required and the whole memorial would have to be taken apart. A further grant of £5,000 was offered for this work. Before the dismantling began, and during the process, the memorial was recorded by photographs and sketches so that it could be put back together in exactly the right order.
When the foundations were reached, the contractors were shocked by what they found. The memorial was being supported by a pile of bricks and rubble with some concrete on top. This material was not only insufficient for the weight of the memorial but it was located on top of an underground spring!

Historic records reveal there was only one month between the memorial being commissioned and it being unveiled. Therefore, it seems the masons may have cut some corners and did not provide the right foundations or investigate the land. Over time, the spring washed away the earth, weakening the foundations further and causing the memorial to lean.

The contractors rebuilt the foundations with concrete and re-assembled the memorial, re-pointing with lime mortar. Stone repairs were done using Forest of Dean stone.

The war memorial was originally dedicated to the fallen of World War I and names from World War II were subsequently added. It was rededicated in July 2008, 88 years after it was first unveiled.
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Here is a newspaper article from July 1920 about the memorial :

Sussex Agricultural Express - Friday 23 July 1920

On Sunday next the unveiling and dedication of the Waldron War Memorial will take place.  Mrs. Humble-Crofts (mother to two who fell) will unveil the memorial and the Ven. Archdeacon of Hastings (Dr. A.W. Upcott) will dedicate the memorial and deliver the address. The Heathfield Band has kindly promised to attend and will probably head a procession of Cross-in-Hand ex-servicemen to Waldron Street before the service.

The service will commence by the choir and clergy and ex-servicemen proceeding from the church to the memorial, which stands in the centre of the village cross-roads, singing a processional hymn, and after the dedication the hymns will be "Fight The Good Fight" and "On the Resurrection Morning".
________________________________________________

Attached is a photograph of the memorial which I took last Sunday.  

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Craggs
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2017, 08:37:12 AM »

The complementary Waldron War Memorial plaque inside All Saints Church, Waldron, East Sussex.    The names on the Waldron Village War Memorial, which is just outside the Church, are not in any specific order.  The names on the plaque inside the Church are in alphabetical order.

The memorial presentation inside the Church appears to take the form of am altar - with the memorial plaque sitting on a stone altar tablet.  I'm not sure if those who created it realise how old the stone 'altar tablet' is.  On the very front edge is a "Crusader Cross".  These were small crosses made by the Crusader Knights in places of worship before they set sail from nearby South-Coast ports for The Holy Land.  The knights would inscribe a small cross in a piece of stone in the church with nothing on the ends of the cross arms.  If they made it back alive they would return to the same church and mark the ends of the cross arms - on this example the ends have small lines, on most examples the ends of the arms have a circular type indent as if made with the tip of a dagger or sword. If the arms of the cross are unmarked then the knight probably didn't get back alive.  The village of Waldron is next to the village of Cross-in-Hand which in medieval times was called "Cruce Manus", the latin for Cross in Hand.  It is believed that the Crusaders met there on their way to the ports of Rye and Winchelsea.   There are some excellent examples of Crusader crosses in The Church of St. Thomas The Martyr in Winchelsea.  

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