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Author Topic: Mayfield War Memorial  (Read 75 times)
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« on: March 21, 2017, 08:03:15 AM »

Mayfield is a village in East Sussex which lays just off the A267 which runs from Royal Tunbridge Wells, through Cross-in-Hand, where I live, and off down towards Eastbourne.  The proper name of the Parish is "The Parish of St Dunstan's Mayfield and The Good Shepherd Five Ashes" - this post is just about the Mayfield war memorial as Five Ashes has it's own war memorial, which I will do a post on in due course.  There is a bit of cross-over between the two war memorials and I'll do the appropriate links when I do it.

The Mayfield War memorial stands in the stepped and sloped walkway leading to St. Dunstan's Church, half way up the High Street.  The is a nice description of the memorial in the following newspaper article from 1920 which reports on the unveiling and dedication ceremony.

Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser - Friday 03 December 1920


In the presence of a very large concourse of people representing the parishioners of Mayfield and friends from the neighbouring villages, the memorial, erected in the High Street in-front of the Church, which forms a fitting background, was unveiled on Friday afternoon by General Sir Henry Sclater GCB, GBE.  BY the kindness of the O.C. Maresfield Camp a detachment of 26 men of the R.E.'s formed the guard of honour.  The mourners stood on one side and opposite the church the choir and St. Dunstan's Brass Band, who accompanied the singing, were stationed.  Around them and reaching right across to the other side of the street a mass of people reverently offered their tribute of respect to the fallen and sympathy with the mourners.

Shortly before three o'clock the muffled tolling of the tenor bell and the inspiring strains of "The Church's one Foundation" by the band announced the open ing of the service, which began with the singing of the hymn "O God, our help in ages past".  This was followed by prayers read by the Vicar, the Rev. E. C. Pitt-Johnson, after which Sir Henry Sclater unveiled the memorial, revealing a beautiful and stately cross of Purbeck stone standing 14 feet high on a square base with steps having six panel fronts on which are inscribed the names of the men who have fallen.  On the front panel, facing the road, is inscribed in letters of gold - "In ever grateful memory of the men of Mayfield who gave their lives for King and Country in the Great War, 1914-1918.  In the morning we will remember and in the going down of the sun we will not forget".  

After reading the names of the fallen, which were as follows: F.C. Akehurst,  S.C. Taylor,  P.N. Kent,  W.G. Taylor,  J.W. Watson,  J. Godfrey,  F.M. Lowder, C. Kenward, V.J.S. French,  M.E. Grant,  W.T. Griffiths,  F. Gutsell,  F. Heasman,  H. Maskell,  C.H. Pettitt,  W.A. Rebbeck,   F. Skinner,  H. Stoman,  W. Smith,  James Watson,  Joseph Watson,  F. Wheatley,  R. Wicker,  J.H. Langley,  C.J. Cokes,  E.W. Palmer,  G. Lusted,  F.O. Axell,  A. Perry,  J.H. Carter,  A. Colvin,  J. Gaston,  A. Groombridge,  H. Jones,  A. Weston,  W.A. Pierson,  C. Rogers,  W.G. Baugh,  S.G. Akehurst,  C.G. Beale,  J. Humphrey,  E. Cornford,  M. Haffenden,  I. Jarvis,  B. Paine,  J.F. Ladle,  E. Baitup,  H. Cornford,  H.C. Conron, H.Baitup,   General Sir Henry Sclater a brief address, in which he esteemed it to be a great privilege to be there that day to render the tribute of an old soldier to the brave and gallant men of Mayfield who had died for their Country.  This beautiful memorial would serve to remind them and those who came after of the heroic deed of the men of Mayfield, and they would realise by the long roll of names that it was a splendid record of service rendered.  The Memorial reminded them of grief and sorrow, of which they all deplored, but at the same time they could exalt and glory in the great achievement of these men.  It was a bad loss to many bereaved ones, and yet we might feel proud and glad that we belonged to a nation, and many of us the army which possessed such heroes.  We all thoroughly realise how much these men had done for us and we must never forget their sacrifice.  Without the example that these men had showed to others this Empire would no longer have been intact or inviolate.  Let us remember that and see that we hand down to posterity the glorious heritage which we had received from our forefathers.  We must emulate and follow the example which these brave men had set us by doing our duty to God, King and Country, and by co-operation and unity, whoch did so much to win our battles, endeavour to solve the problems that faced us at home today.

The Reverend Lloyd Jones (Congregational Minister) then read prayers, and after the Vicar had dedicated the Memorialthe hymn "O Valiant Hearts" was sung, followed by prayers for the fallen, the bereaved and fatherless children.  The trumpeters then gave an impressive rendering of "The Last Post" and during the singing of the hymn "Fight the Good Fight" floral tributes were placed at the foot of the cross.  The service concluded with the Benediction and the "Reveille".  In addition to the numerous beautiful tributes from the relatives of the fallen there were others from the Mayfield Mess of the Twelfth Division; the Villagers and Congregation of St. Dunstan's Church; The Children of the Day Schools and the Convent Day School; the Vicar of Mayfield and many others, the whole numbering over 50.

Attached is a photograph of the memorial taken in December 1920 at the unveiling ceremony - this was published half way down the above newspaper article.  Also is a photograph which I took my self a few months ago.

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