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Author Topic: Five Ashes War Memorial  (Read 57 times)
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« on: April 10, 2017, 09:05:34 AM »

Five Ashes is a small village in East Sussex , about 3 miles from Heathfield and 2 miles from Cross-in-Hand (where I live).  

The village sits astride the A267 which is the main busy road from Heathfield to Royal Tunbridge Wells, but when the memorial was unveiled and dedicated on the village green in June 1920 this was a very quiet country village.

The memorial takes the form of a golden cross standing on a multi-stepped plinth.  This cross is not the original - the original Sussex stone cross was destroyed in the great storm of 1987 and the present one was erected in 1988 to replace it.  This fact is inscribed on the small angled stone tablet at the front of the bottom section of the plinth.

The names of 18 men from the village who made the supreme sacrifice in WWI are inscribed on four of the plinth faces. The additional names of the 4 men from the village who did likewise in WWII are inscribed on the lower front plinth step and also on a plate at the base of the cross.  

The full name of the Parish is  "The Parish of St Dunstan's Mayfield and The Good Shepherd Five Ashes" and as such is directly linked to the village of Mayfield which is 2 miles up the main road.   All of the men whose names are inscribed on the Five Ashes war memorial also have their names inscribed on the Mayfield War Memorial.

I'll post just one photograph of the Five Ashes war memorial to start with and will post the faces later or tomorrow.  Those who take an interest in the individual names will see that there are at least two sets of brothers on this memorial - possibly four, but I've yet to confirm this.

The memorial was unveiled and dedicated on Friday 18th June 1920.

Sussex Agricultural Express - Friday 18 June 1920


The war memorial at Five Ashes was unveiled this (Friday) afternoon.  It consists of a wayside cross of beautiful design, copied from a cross of the 14th century.  It is of Sussex stone, and the work has been done by Sussex masons. A report of the ceremony will appear in the "Sussex Express" next week.

Kent & Sussex Courier - Friday 25 June 1920.


War Memorial Unveiled - On Friday afternoon the Archdeacon of Hastings dedicated a Memorial Cross which has been erected to the memory of the 16 men of the village who made the supreme sacrifice in the late war.  The memorial, the plans for which were prepared by Captain Moore, is situated on the Village Green,  in close proximity to the main road.  A large number of people were present at the dedication, many coming from Mayfield.  The musical arrangements were in the hands of Miss Child, organist of Mayfield Parish Church, and Mr. O. Slaughter as conductor,  the St. Dunstan's Brass  and String Band accompanied the singing.

A detachment of Royal Engineers composed a firing party, trumpeters and a drummer, and were posted on the side of the column with arms reversed.  The school children of Five Ashes School occupied a place near the band.  The service opened with a hymn "O God, our help in ages past", the Rev. Prebendary W.J. Humblecroft, Rector of Waldron, saying the opening prayer.  The unveiling ceremony was performed by Brigadier E. O'Brien, C.B., O.B.E., after which the school children placed laurel wreaths around the base of the plinth of the Cross.  The Men. Archdeacon of Hastings then dedicated the memorial and the hymn "Let every creature join, to praise the Eternal God" was sung, after which the Archdeacon gave an impressive address from Wisdom iii 1-6, "But the souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, and there no torment shall touch them".  In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, and there departure is taken for misery and their going from us is to be utter destruction, but they are in peace.  For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality, and having been a little chastised they shall be greatly rewarded, for God proved them and found them worthy of Himself; "As gold in a furnace he hath he tried them and received them as a burnt offering".   After another prayer and the singing of the hymn "For all the Saints" the Last Post was sounded and the firing of three volleys, followed by the National Anthem.  The children at the close of the service dropped bunches of flowers on the monument, and several beautiful wreaths from relatives were also placed on it.

The Cross is a copy of a 14th century road-side Cross in Somerset-shire, and is of local stone.  It has been worked and erected by Sussex masons.  The inscription is as follows : "1914-1918. The Great War. To the glorious memory of -- " Here followed round in alphabetical order the 16 names.

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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2017, 08:04:56 AM »

The faces of the Five Ashes war memorial. 

All of the names on the Five Ashes War Memorial appear on the "Roll of Honour-Sussex-Five Ashes" site with the exception of "SMITH F.A.E. ENGINEER  SS TUSCARORA" - he appears on the "Roll of Honour-Sussex-Mayfield" site.  As I said and explained in the opening post - the communities of Mayfield and Five Ashes are in the same Parish.    Frederick Alfred Ernest Smith is the only one which some readers may query as to why he is on the memorial and not the roll of honour.  He was an engineer on the SS Tuscarora when she was torpedoed on the 9th September 1917. He has no known grave and is commemorated here, also on the Mayfield War Memorial and also on the Tower Hill Memorial.

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