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Author Topic: Ninfield War Memorial  (Read 187 times)
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« on: December 28, 2016, 14:56:56 PM »

Ninfield is a village in the Wealden District of East Sussex about four or five miles north of Bexhill.  To the west of Ninfield is "Standard Hill" which is believed to be the place where William The Conqueror stood and placed his flag (standard) after the Battle of Hastings.

The War Memorial to the fallen of WWI was dedicated in September 1920 and is an oak tablet on the wall of the Church of St Mary's The Virgin.  The stone memorial wall plaque to the Ninfield fallen of WWII is also in the Church of St Mary's The Virgin.

On an adjacent wall is a memorial plaque to Barbara Esmee St. John, who I believe was the daughter of the Vicar of the parish Church at the time of her death, in WWI, in France whilst part of the Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment, assisting the troops.

Under the WWI memorial oak tablet is an oak 'shelf' with an inscription dedicated to Earl Haig.

Sussex Agricultural Express - Friday 24 September 1920



From the parish of Ninfield eighteen men laid down their lives in the late war.  Their sacrifice has been commemorated by the erection of an oak tablet in the Parish Church.  The memorial is dignified and impressive in design, having a Calvary in the centre, and the names of the fallen inscribed on panels on each side.  Underneath appear the following words "In memory of the men of Ninfield who laid down their lives for King and Country in the Great War 1914-1918"

The memorial was dedicated on Sunday afternoon by Canon T.W. Cook (Rural Dean of Hastings) in the presence of a large congregation. The solemn service was conducted by the Rector (the Rev. H.B. St. John) and opened with the organ voluntarily "O Rest in The Lord" (Mendelssohn)
, played by Mr J. Ridel.  The psalms selected for the occasion were "Out of the Deep" and "The Lord is my Shepherd" and the hymns were "Brief life is here our portion",  "When or heads are bowed with woe" and "On the Resurrection Morning".  The Rural Dean read the Lesson.  Following the reading of the appropriate scripture sentences from The Burial Service by the Rector, he read out the names of the fallen as follows :

T.H. Ballard - Royal Fusiliers.
U.A. Barden - M.G.C..
W. Brook - Royal Sussex Regiment.
F. Carey "HMS Achilles".
W.G. Cheale - Royal Sussex Regiment.
H. Creasey - East Surrey Regiment.
J. Deeprose - Royal West Kent Regiment.
F. Divall - Hampshire Regiment.
A.C. Elphick - Royal Fusiliers.
C.C. Foster - Royal Fusiliers.
W. Gilbey - Royal Sussex Regiment.
H.D. Mitchell - Royal Sussex Regiment.
H.S. Munn - Royal Sussex Regiment.
G.W. Pont - Kings Royal Rifles.
W.J. Ransom - Royal Sussex Regiment.
A.E. Revitt - Coldstream Guards.
W. Sargent - Royal West Kent Regiment.
C. Winchester - Royal Sussex Regiment.

On the Clergy proceeding to the memorial the Rector drew aside the veil, which bore a Union Jack in the centre and Canon Cook dedicated the tablet and offered prayers. In an address to the congregation the Rural Dean said that they could not help looking at that memorial.  They would look in their generation, and the generations to come after them would pass, and in passing would remember.  And so it would go on. It would teach the same eternal lesson.

The offertory would be dedicated to the Memorial Fund.  The service was brought to an impressive conclusion by the playing of The Dead March in "Saul" by the organist, while the congregation, remained standing in reverent silence.

At the top of the WWI plaque are three small additional small panels with the additional inscription :

And Also
W. Ferner - 2nd Middlesex.
Barbara Esmee St. John.
A.H. Lemmon - East Surrey.

Finding Barbara Esmee St. John was quite easy but I have had difficulty identifying "W. Ferner" and "A.H. Lemmon".

The CWGC has an entry for Barbara Esmee St. John which reads :

Service No:Sussex/112
Date of Death:12/10/1916 Age:31
Regiment/Service:Voluntary Aid Detachment
Grave Reference: III. I. 4. Cemetery:WIMEREUX COMMUNAL CEMETERY
Additional Information:Daughter of the Rev. Henry Beauchamp and Emily Anne St. John, of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire and Ninfield, Sussex.

The "Registers" page of the site for her shows -

Sussex 112
British Red Cross Society Voluntary Aid Detachment
Died of Landry's paralysis 12th Oct. 1916.  Aged 31.
Daughter of the Rev. Henry Beauchamp and Emily Anne St. John, of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire and Ninfield, Sussex.  III. I. 4

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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2016, 09:52:55 AM »

In respect of the two additional names either side of Barbara Esmee St. John, mentioned above, the following is information from the "Roll of Honour - Sussex - Ninfield" site which gives a bit more clarity to one of the inscribed names.

"W. Ferner - 2nd Middlesex"  would appear to be Lance Serjeant William FURNER  (with a 'U' and not an 'E' - which is correct ?)

FURNER William [Adimore Sussex]
Lance Sergeant L.12108, 2nd Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment. 33rd. Division Killed in action on the Chemin des Dames 27th May 1918. Aged 30. Son of James & Ellen Furner of 2, Holly Cattage, Catsfield. Enlisted in Eastbourne. Commemorated on The Soissons Memorial MR. 18

His CWGC entry is :
Rank:Lance Serjeant
Service No:L/12108
Date of Death:27/05/1918 Age:30
Regiment/Service:Middlesex Regiment 2nd Bn.
Panel Reference:   Memorial:SOISSONS MEMORIAL
Additional Information:Son of Ellen Furner, of 2, Holly Cottage, Catsfield, Battle, Sussex, and the late James Furner.

I'm still not progressing, at the moment, with  "A.H. Lemmon - East Surrey"  - his entry on the "Roll of Honour - Sussex - Ninfield" site is shown as :-

E Surrey. No definite I/D with CWGC or SDGW.
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