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Author Topic: Hurstpierpoint War Memorial  (Read 159 times)
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Craggs
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« on: February 24, 2017, 08:11:19 AM »

Hurstpierpoint is a town in West Sussex about 4 miles from Burgess Hill.    The name derives from 'Hurst', the Old English name for a wood, and 'Pierpoint' after the de Pierpoint family who arrived with William the Conqueror in 1066.    There are a number of publications and newspaper articles which refer to the town simply as "Hurst".

There is a war memorial on the corner of the main crossroads adjacent to Holy Trinity Church and takes the form of a sturdy stone cross on a deep plinth.  There is a second war memorial inside Holy Trinity Church which is in the 'Campion Chapel' and is made from Derbyshire alabaster.  There is one more name on the memorial inside the church than that of the memorial by the crossroads (see below)

The war memorial by the crossroads outside Holy Trinity names the 77 men from the village who fell in WWI.  After WWII the names of the 17 men and 1 woman from the village who fell in that conflict.

The war memorial inside the church is in the form of two long alabaster panels aside a large crucifix.  The crucifix was found in a junk shop in Brighton by a soldier after WWI and brought to the church.  The names of the fallen are inscribed down both panels with the WWII at the foot of each.  There are 78 names from WWII - this war memorial differs from the one outside by the addition of "Cornelius King" to the lower section of left panel.

I have tried to find out a bit more about Cornelius King and his name being added to the War Memorial.  There has obviously been some historic research done by his family - I found his resting place in Hurstpierpoint New Cemetery and will do a post on him with the information I have at the moment.  I cannot make a definitive match on the CWGC site.  I am trying to find a point of contact in Hurstpierpoint.  His resting place, as you can see from attached photographs, was not too difficult to find.

According to the "Roll of Honour-Sussex-Hurstpierpoint" website the memorial was "unveiled on St. George's Day , Sunday 23rd April, 1922 by Colonel Champion" * - edit note (added later) see the next 'reply' concerning who unveiled the memorial.

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Craggs
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 11:15:29 AM »

The last paragraph of the opening post, above, names "Colonel Champion" as the dignitary who unveiled the Hurstpierpoint War memorial.  I think that this should have been "Colonel Campion" - without an "h" - this matches with Colonel Campion CB who resided in the village at the time.

The Campion family were extremely influential in Hurstpierpoint at the time and have their own chapel in Holy Trinity Church including a massive stained glass window dedicated to the family.  There is also a large family plot in the church yard behind Holy Trinity.

Although I cannot find a newspaper article concerning the unveiling ceremony of the war memorial by the cross-roads outside Holy Trinity , the following newspaper article was published a couple of weeks prior to the unveiling date:

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 04 April 1922

COLONEL CAMPION C.B., father of Lieut-Colonel W.R. Campion D.S.O., M.P., attained the age of 86 last Saturday.


The "Roll of Honour-Sussex-Hurstpierpoint" website also shows that the memorial inside the Holy Trinity Church, in the Campion Chapel, "was unveiled some four years later by the Colonel's widow, Mrs. Gertrude Campion".

There is also an entry on the CWGC website for "Campion E. Lieutenant Colonel, Seaforth Highlanders" who is buried in the family plot.

So all that together would indicate that the WWI memorial outside Holy Trinity church was unveiled by Colonel Campion - not Colonel Champion as it states of the Roll of Honour website, as shown in the opening post, above.
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Craggs
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2017, 09:05:24 AM »

The following newspaper article details a memorial service held at Hurstpierpoint in July 1920, two years before the village War Memorial was created and unveiled.  It mentions all three burial grounds, the Churchyard, the Old Cemetery and the New Cemetery.  It also lists those who are buried there (additional comment at the end of the post)


Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 06 July 1920

A GRACIOUS ACT.

WAR HEROES' GRAVES AT HURST VISITED

DEPOSIT OF FLOWERS.

The Hurstpierpoint Comrades of The Great War participated in a gracious act of remembrance on Sunday morning, when they placed flowers on the graves and monuments in the local Churchyard and Cemeteries of those who fell in The Great War.

It was a beautiful thought, and the many who witness the carrying of it into effect will not readily forget the scene.  The members, who have Mr. H.W. Owen as Hon. Secretary, met at 10.15 at their headquarters and headed by their band, which made a successful first appearance - Mr. A.M. Carr, who holds a bandmaster's certificate of The Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, is bandmaster and instructor - went in procession to the Church and Old Cemetery, where the resting places and monuments of the gallant soldiers and sailors were duty remembered.  Prayers were said by the Rev. C.H. Piggott (Rector), with whom were the Rev, M.H. Waller and the Rev. A.C. Curd.  The Comrades then attended Divine service in the Church, which was crowded.  The office, which was of special character, was taken by the Rector, and Mr. F. PIPER, father of a sailor who lost his life in the execution of an act of great gallantry, read the lesson.  The Rev. T.J. James M.C., Vicar of St. Anne's, Brighton, ex-Chaplain to the Forces in France, preached the sermon, basin it on Hebrews xii., 1, 2.  His theme was the ideals of "Comradeship" and its selflessness, and he appealed to his hearers to ever remember that they had to
                              FOLLOW THE GREAT LEADER,
their Lord, Jesus Christ.  "The call to be servants of that King came to all.  Don't run away from it.  Be comrades in that service"  The preacher, who declared it a privilege to respond to the invitation to be present that day, also urged his hearers to remember their comrades now resting in Paradise.  The offertory was for the provision of a memorial tablet, and at the close of service Mr. R.G. Walder of Burgess Hill, sounded the Last Post and the Reveille.  Mr H. Shepherd was at the organ, and the singing was led by a full choir.  The church was crowded.  A very beautiful floral tribute, in the form of a broken column, was placed on the table below the illuminated roll of the gallant dead.  This had been subscribed for by the Comrades.  The procession re-formed on the Church green, and went to the New Cemetery, where during the progress of a thunderstorm, which was accompanied by heavy rain, more flowers were deposited on memorials and graves.  The band afterwards played the processionists back to headquarters.

Appended is the list of the gallant men to whom this beautiful tribute was paid :- In the Church - John Wood.  In the Churchyard - the Rev. C.A. Marona,  Roger A. Piper,  John G. Peskett.  In the Old Cemetery - Edward Campion,  Arthur N.H. Weeks,  Albert Anscombe,  Cecil M. Balcombe,  Thomas Balcombe,  Arthur Balcome,  John Balcome.  In the New Cemetery - Norman Allen,  Harry Clarke,  Lieutenant Commander Ost R.N., Hubert W. Walker, Reginald A. Stenning,  Albert Pierce,  Alfred Mansbridge, Frank Mansbridge, William Brown,  Albert Brown,  George Payne,  Samuel J. Clarke,  Claude Hudson,  Thomas Street,  Thomas Maskell,  John Maskell,  Richard Bartley,  George W. Gaston, Thomas Winter.

Considerable help was given in the Churchyard and Cemeteries by Dr. G. Black (Churchwarden) and Mr. W.B. Davey (Sexton).
__________________________________________________________________

The "appended names" in the newspaper article doesn't reflect the list on the CWGC site and the list that I printed off before I visited the village.  I need to do some more research to see if there are a few more servicemen's graves that should now be recognised as such.

There are a few graves and headstones in the three burial grounds which I can't find reference to in the newspaper archives - but now that I have found this article I should be able to post a few more and cross reference / link them to this post - at least t is a good starting point.
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