The Hertfordshire Express dated 30th November 1918 reported
that Mr Henry Martin of 34 Sollershott West had wrote letter to Letchworth
Parish Council suggesting a memorial in Howard Park with plaque listing
names of those who gave their lives. At the meeting, Mr Hooydonk suggested
the new Letchworth Hospital would be most fitting memorial.
On Saturday 25th January 1919 an oak tree was planted in Howard
Park near the Mrs Howard Memorial Hall and a plaque erected, upon which
is engraved the following inscription:- "This oak has been presented to
the Parish Council of Letchworth in grateful recognition of the generous
hospitality received by the Belgians during the Great War."
In March a Town's Meeting was held to discuss a public peace memorial
when many ideas were discussed but the Chairman adjourned meeting without
reaching agreement. A Mr James Peiron wrote to the Council complaining
about the meeting. Also in March it was decided to build a Victory Church
on the east side of Pix Brook, the ecclesiastic boundary between
the parishes of Letchworth and Willian. Already 700 houses had been built
on the east side with 400 more planned that year.
March also saw the last meeting of the Letchworth Parish Council,
this also took place in Howard Hall. The following day Tuesday, 1st April
1919 witnessed the First Urban District Council meeting.
On Tuesday 6th May 1919, the second Urban District Council meeting
proposed that a committee be formed of all the Letchworth Urban District
Council to make arrangements for the celebration of the signing of the
This was proposed by Mr Bichener, and seconded by Mrs Gaunt. The
Citizen dated the 30th May 1919 carried an announcement of a Public Meeting
at Howard Hall on Monday the 2nd June 1919 at 8pm to elect 15 residents
to serve on the Management Committee together with councilors. On Saturday
31st May 1919 a Peace Memorial Whist Drive was held at Pixmore Hall with
On Monday 2nd June 1919 at the public meeting to elect a Management
Committee to raise £10,000 for a Hospital extension, only 6 people
were elected. Mrs Kidd, Messrs F J Hammond, S P Tyler, P H Colson, Basil
Leatherdale and F L Sharpe, so they were given the responsibility of
co-opting 9 more members.
The Citizen dated 13th June carried an article written by Onslow
Whiting, entitled 'Man Master of his Fate, A World Memorial to the World
War.' In it, he suggested a Universal Library be created.
On Monday the 23rd June, the Belgian memorial, the plaque erected
that January, was demolished. Someone wrote to the paper wanting to know
who payed for it to be demolished and who would pay for its restoration.
The Citizen also reported that discussions of the forthcoming peace celebrations
were dormant and people were visibly disinterested. However, the Urban
District Council decided that the official date for the Peace Celebrations
would be Saturday, July 19th. The Chairman proposed that the council should
spend £360, equivalent to a penny halfpenny rate; but Mr Cubbon proposed
the council take no part and spend no money until our occupation
of Russia was ended which Mr Furmston seconded. Finally it was agreed that
Messrs Haysman and Bunn and the ex-service men should organise the respective
sport on which £60 might be spent. Mr Hooydonk would organise
fireworks, bonfire Mr Foster, tea Messrs Bunn,Haysman and Hill, Soldiers
luncheon and tea Messrs Bichener, Furmston and Bartlet, and the procession
Mr Gaunt and Major Vick.
The planned procession route on Saturday 19th July 1919 was via
Leys Avenue, Norton Road, Common View, Green Lane, Works Road, Pixmore
Avenue, Ridge Road, Ridge Avenue, Hillshott to Howard Park. But the Spirella
peace car would not turn the corners at Ridge Road/Ridge Avenue so it came
down Birds Hill, and it was felt that Station Road was too important to
leave out so the procession went up Station Road and assembled at the triangle
between Station Road and Leys Avenue.
The incomplete Management Committe met at the Council Offices on
Monday 8th September 1919, present were Mr C F Ball in the chair, Mrs Kidd,
Mrs Steen, Miss Bartholmew, the Rev H Cubbon MA, Messrs George Brown (Clerk),
P W Bichener, H D Clapham, C J Hill, J T Hill, J Van Hooydonk, J J Kidd,
B Leatherdale, F L Sharpe and F W Bird and A P Vick (Joint Treasurers).
Since the June meeting two of those nominated had withdrawn so that there
were now 11 seats vacant. A number of names were considered and it was
co-opt the following residents onto the committee:
Rev GK Oliver, The Rectory
Dr N Macfadyen, Baldock Road
Mrs Coaten, 3 Norton Way North
Mrs W H Knight, Letchworth Lane
Miss M Ledward, 109 Norton Way
Miss G W Bourne, 41 Sollershott East
Mr H Craske, Hitchin Road
Mr W H Gaunt, "Ladybarn" Barrington Road
Mr J T Haysman, Meadow Way
Mr D F Kensett JP, 4 The Ridge
Mr G C Swanson, 7 Norton Way North
Discussion followed as to ways and means of raising the £10,000
for erecting a wing on the new hospital which would constitute Letchworth's
Peace Memorial, but decisions were left to the meeting of the full committee
to be held shortly.
The Citizen dated the 3rd October 1919 announced "Letchworth Hospital
The first statutory meeting of the Association of Letchworth
Hospital took place on Thursday September 25rh at the Letchworth
Club. Under the new constitution this association is composed of the following,
the members of the original Hospital Commirtee formed in 1912, the members
of the Board of Management of Letchworth Hospital, nor more than 3 representatives
from the Letchworth Urban DistrictCouncil, 2 members of the medical staff
of the hospital, all such persons who shall be Life Governors and Governors
in accordance with the regulations, and not more than 10 other persons
being donors or subscribers to the association who shall be nominated by
a general meeting of the subscribers.
At the Letchworth Urban District Council meeting held on Monday
29th September 1919 a letter was received from the ex-servicemen's federation
stating that the federation would be holding a Drum Head Memorial Service
on Sunday afternoon October 12th, there was also to be a procession. The
letter went on to invite the council to join and mentioned that the secretary
of the Memorial Committee Mr Alfred Robinson would furnish further particulars
later. The Chairman, Mr C F Ball, said, "I am sure that everyone on the
Council would like to attend the service. "
The following week the Citizen carried the following announcement
"A Drum Head Memorial Service for fallen soldiers will take place
at Broadway on the 12th October at 3pm" However there were those
who would be unable to attend for in the letters to the editor was - "Sir,
I wish to express my profound regret that owing to a special service at
Stotfold it will be impossible for me to be present at the Drum Head Memorial
Service. I trust the service will be worthy of the glorious dead and a
blessing to all those who are privileged to attend. I pray also that
comfort and strength may be given to all who mourn. J Hutchinson Saxon,
Minister ofBroadway Church.
The temporary Cenotaph erected in Station Place by the Discharged
and Demobilised Sailors' and Soldiers' Federation (Letchworth Branch) on
the occassion of the Drumhead Memorial Service for Fallen Comrades held
on the Town Square on October 12th 1919 was the scene photographed by Mr
A Clutterbuck which appeared at the start of the article reporting the
event in the Citizen dated 17th October 1919.
Honouring Our Gallant Dead - Drumhead Memorial Service - Impressive
Scenes in Letchworth - They came when duty called them.
Many tributes have been paid already to those who during the last
five anxious and critical years, have served as sailors, soldiers
and airman, or in other ways, in resisting an implacable and powerful
enemy; but nor until Sunday afternoon had the town as a whole, been provided
with an opportunity to share in n ceremony which should mark our sense
of loss that Letchworth has suffered in the slaying of so many of her sons.
The main features of the demonstration were a procession, the saluting
of the cenotaph, symbolical of the tomb of the slain, the depositing
of floral tributes, and a religious service, composed of many prayers,
hymns, the reading of portions of the scriptures and an address by the
Rector. The whole was organised by the Letchworth Branch of the National
Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers.
The police, under Inspector Wade, led the way, and cleared the
course; a merely formal provision, for, on such a solemn occasion, the
people were inclined naturally, to decorous behaviour. Next came the Town
Band, in full uniform, led by Band Master Peters, and playing "The boys
of the old brigade" with great vigour and effect. The band had been placed
so as to head the members of the Letchworth Branch of the National Federation
of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers, the survivors of the
late terrible war. They had been divided into two sections, one led
by lieutenant Swartson, and the other by Captain Bolton, and so they marched
forward once more, but no longer amidst wars alarms.
Led by one band, the ex-servicemen were followed by another,
that of the Salvation Army, conducted by Band Master Gentle. A striking
unit in the whole array was the Fire Brigade, with its bright helmets,
This section was under the charge of its Chief Officer, Mr F E de
la Sax Simmons. Marching next, were the members of the Urban District
Council, with the officials, all led by the Chairman, Mr C F Ball. Now
came the clergy, the Rev Gerard K Oliver, Rector of Letchworth; the Rev
J H Bailey, Vicar of Norton; and the Rev J Crowle-Smith, Pastor of the
Behind, walked the Letchworth Boy Scouts, commanded by Scout Mistress
Miss Allen and Scout Master R W West, and accompanied by the Baldock
Scouts commanded by Scout Master Cyril Bishop. The Church Lads' Brigades
were represented also, the Letchworth Detachment, the Norton Detachment,
and Norton Training Corps, all under the charge of lieutenant Whymark.
The whole procession was marshalled by Major Vick, and as many flags
and wreaths were carried, the general effect was both military and memorial.
The assembly of the different units was arranged near to the Howard Park,
and the various sections fell quietly into position. The route followed
was that of Leys Avenue, under the mountain ash trees whose leaves had
turned from green to gold since July, when the procession in honour of
the signing of
the peace treaty, came this way. The halt was made in the open
place at the top of Leys Avenue, where a cenotaph, that had been
decorated by Mr H Green, and erected by Mr J T Openshaw stood in readiness
with a guard of honour supplied by the Church Lads' Brigades of Letchworth
and Norton. Four members of the Letchworth Church Lads' Brigades, Bert
Parfitt, Leslie Leitch, Fredrick Moules, and Percy Parmitter, mounted guard
over the cenotaph at two-o-clock, each boy occupying a position at the
corner of the monument, and leaning with down cast face, upon his
The ceremony of mounting guard was performed in full military fashion,
and there was a change of guard at three-o-clock, when the following
four boys, from the Norton Church Lads' Brigade, went on duty: George
Tyler, Thomas Williams Leonard Hart, and Charles Parker. Relief came at
four-o-clock, when the Letchworth group went on duty again.
The cenotaph was of simple and dignified design, of appropriate
proportions, and well fitted for its purpose; standing four-square to the
winds, and surmounted by a Union Jack. Laurel wreaths had been painted
upon its side,and upon its eastern face "To Our Glorious Dead." In solemn
silence, with bared heads, with flags depressed, the sections gathered
round the cenotaph, and then the Salvation Army played Cardinal Newman's
hymn, "Lead, kindly light, " to the tune, "Sandon," by C H Purday. Here,
too, began the pathetic rite of depositing floral tributes at the base
of the cenotaph, and the Federation of ex-servicemen hung a beautiful wreath
on each face of the Monument, two laurel wreaths, and two wreaths of triumph.
Victory through sacrifice, in tribute to our fallen comrades. You died
for our freedom. Rest in peace.
Some of the wreaths and bouquets had no inscriptions; but amongst
those which had were:- Private Joseph William Johnson. A glorious death
is a living memory. From father, mother, brothers and sisters. Device with
a purple background, and a crown ER "For King and Empire: services rendered."
In loving loving memory of my dear brother, Elija Howard
Gotten, number 22238, East Kent Regimenr. Killed in action, August 22nd
1918 ... Later in the week the wreaths and other floral tributes were removed
to St Michaels Church yard.
The Drumhead Service
This mournful ceremony over the procession resumed its march, and
when all had reached the Town Square that is to be, the people took up
their appointed stations in good order. There was an impoverished platform
on the southern side of the band stand, and upon this platform stood the
two drums - one on the top of the other, draped in black, and surmounted
by the Union Jack - that gave to the whole ceremony its name, the Drumhead
Without loss of time there stepped upon the platform the Rev Gerard
K Oliver, R ector of Letchworth; the Rev Montague Swatman, Rectorof Willian;
the Rev J H Bailey, Vicar of Norton; the Rev J Crowle-Smith, Pastor of
the Wesleyian Church in Letchworth; and representing the Salvation Army,
were Captain MacfarlandandMrs Ricksbowness, and appointments away from
Letchworth kept our other ministers from attending the ceremony. From the
platform could be seen the units in the procession occupying their places,
and a great throng of the citizens. The brass instruments of the
two bands, and the helmets of the members of the Fire Brigade gleamed,
and there was an occasional sparkle from medals, and from other decorations
worn by those who had come through the recent conflict alive. The Town
Square flag was at halfmast, and behind, swaying in the same west wind
that was driving away the grey weeping clouds, were the slender populars
that had lost some of their leaves, and strewing others as the service
proceeded. So far the weather had been dull; but towards the end of the
service there was occasional gleams of sunshine . The Town Band gave us
a rousing performance of the National Anthem, and, in the silence that
followed, the Rev J Crowle-Smith prayed with reference to the brave men
who had layed down their lives for us, and he concluded with the Lord's
Prayer, in which the people joined. Very appropriately, the first hymn
there had been chosen these verses by Isaac Watts, which have sounded so
often during the fateful years that have just past away:
Oh God, our help in ages past,
Oh hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.
This hymn was sung to Dr Croft's well known tune, and the singing
was followed by a lesson, not takenfrom the Old Testament, nor from the
New, but from the Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus XIN. A few passages will show
how appropriate was the selection:
Let us now praise famous men, and their fathers that begat us. The
Lord hath wrought great glory by them through this great power from the
Such as did their rule in their kingdoms, men renown for their power,
giving council by their understanding, and declaring prophecies:
Leaders of the people by their councils, and by their knowledge
of learnin meet for the people, wise and eloquent in their instructions.
Such as found out musical tunes, and reciting verses in writing:
Rich men furnished with ability, living peaceably in their habitations:
All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their
There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their
praises might be reported. And some there be, which have no memorial; who
are perished, as though they had never been; And are becoming as though
they had never been born; and their children
But these were merciful men, whose righteousness hath not been forgotten.
With their seed shall continually remain a good inheritance, and their
children are within the covenant. Their seeds standeth as fast, and their
children for their sakes. Their seed shall remain for ever, and their glory
shall not be blotted out, their bodies are buried in peace; but their name
liveth forever more. The people will tell of their wisdom, and the congregation
will show forth their praise.
Miss MacFarland, Captain in the Salvation A rmy, read now in a clear
voice Psalm XC; the people reading alternate verses with her; and when
she had finished, the R ev Montague Swatman engaged in prayer, drawing
on the truth that greater love no man than this, that he lay down his lifefor
his friends. He prayed for the sailors and soldiers and airman, and also
for the devoted workers in the homeland, concluding with a special petition
for those who had been faithful until death, and for those who had been
Then came Charles Wesleys ever welcome hymn, led by the Town Band,
to Dr Dykes setting: Jesu, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly, while
the gathering of the waters roll, while the tempest still is high: Hide
me, oh my Saviour, hide, till the storms of the life is passed; save into
the haven guide, oh receive my soul at last.
In a letter to editor, printed in the Citizen dated the 31st October
1919 Norbet My Salsman wrote: Sir, I would very much like to say a few
words about the so called "Belgian Memorial" I hope that you will grant
me a few lines in your paper.
Last December, just before the first contingent of my countrymen
left Garden City, the memorial was unveiled by a few Belgians, including
Beautiful speeches were made on both sides, all relating to the
past and close friendship between English and Belgians; in one word, it
was a magnificent ceremony. (But the weather was none too fine - this I
mention for those who remember.) The memorial must also have suffered from
the severe cold temperature, for a few weeks later all the bricks and cement
work fell to pieces. I am sure that this no one could help. We hope to
see it repaired; but up to the present nothing has been done to it. A great
pity indeed for it stands in one of the finest roads of the city.
Can nothing be done?
In the Citizen dated 14th November 1919 was a Roll of Honour of
local residents who served their country in HM Forces in the Great War
with the following accompanying text. The compiler of this list is aware
that several corrections and additions are necessary, and it is published
now to enable all ex-servicemen and women or their friends to supply the
details which are lacking. Particularly we do wish for that section devoted
to the Roll Of Honour to contain the names of everyone who made the
supreme Sacrifice. It is intended to publish the complete and corrected
list in the Letchworth Directory; therefore will all who find inaccuracy
or omission kindly forward full particulars to "Record, Citizen Office"
please reply quickly.
The Letchworth Peace Memorial - Citizen 12th December 1919. Following
the proposal to raise £10,000 to build a wing of the Letchworth Hospital
as a Peace Memorial, the committee met on Wednesday of last week Mr C F
Ball presided, Mr A P Vick was elected Hon Organising Secretary, Mr Leatherdale
Hon Secretary, and the following were appointed on the organising committee,
Mrs Coaten, Mrs Gaunt, and Messrs Bourne, Gaunt, Haysman, Macfadyen, Kensett
and Sharpe, Mrs Steen and Messrs H Craske, Van Hooydonk and Whightman were
appointed the finance committee, Mr G Brown to be ex-office on both the
committees. Dr Macfadyen suggested that an immediate appeal be issued as
they were badly congested at the hospital. Mr Van Hooydonk thought that
in view of the very unsettled state of things it would be best to defer
it for a while. It was agreed that the drawing up of the appeal to be left
to the organising and finance committee, the question of the date of issue
to be left to the general committee.
Under is a list of people who have been elected to administer the
Peace Memorial Fund which has been decided shall take the form of a wing
of the permanent hospital. It was decided that this would be the best method
by which Letchworth could show its appreciation of those who had given
their lives for their country in her great time of need.
Members of the UDC
Mrs K Gaunt, "Ladybarn" Barrington Road
Mrs M Steen, 508 Broadway
Miss F M Bartholmew, 13 Norton Way North
Mr C F Ball, 336 Norton Way
Mr P W Bichener, 106 Wilbury Road
Mr H D Clapham, Norton Way South
Rev H Cubbon, Green Lane
Mr C E Foster, Letchworth Lane
Mr W G Furmston, The Skittles Inn
Mr C J Hill, Barrington Road
Mr H E Holding, Sollershott West
Mr J Van Hooydonk, Broadway
Mr J J Kidd, Baldock Road
Mr J T Openshaw, Station Road
Mr E H Whightman, Leys Avenue
Elected at the Public Meeting June 2nd 1919
Mrs C Kidd, 113 Baldock Road Mr F L Sharpe, 311 Norton
Mr B J Leatherdale, 42 Lays Avenue Mr F J Hammond, 10 Hillpath
Elected at the General Meeting September 8th 1919
Mrs Coaten, 3 Norton Way North Mrs S Knight, Letchworth
Miss M Ledward, 109 Norton Way Mr G C Swanson, 7 Norton
Way North Dr N Macfadyen, Baldock Road Mr W F Kensett
JP, 4 The Ridge Mr W H Gaunt, 'Ladybarn" Barrington Road Mr J Haysman,
Meadow Way Mr H Craske, Hitchin Road Rev G K Oliver, The Rectory
Mr G W Bourne, 41 Sollershott East
Committees and Officials
Hon Organising Secretary, Mr A P Vick, London Joint City &
Midland Bank Leys Avenue Hon Secretary, Mr B J Leatherdale, 62 Leys
Mrs Coaten, Mrs K Gaunt, Mr G W Bourne, Mr J Haysman. Dr N Macfadyen,
Mr W H Gaunt, Mr W F Kensett and Mr F L Sharpe.
Mrs M Steen, Mr H Craske, Mr E H Whightman, Mr J Van Hooydonk.
Hon Treasurers, Mr F W Bird. Barclays Bank Letchworth and
Mr A P Vick, London Joint City & Midland Bank
Ex-offico members of all committees
Mr George Brown, Broadway Chambers and Mr C F Ball, Norton Way
In the Citizen dated 19th December 1919 were the following articles:
Willian Church Effort - Fair and Market at Pixmore
A most successful and enterprising Query Fair and Christmas Market
was held in the Church Army hut Baldock Road on Wednesday last. The sale
was the first of its kind to be held in the Pixmore district on behalf
of the Pixmore Church Building Fund although a very successful fete was
held in the summer months at Willian for the same cause. This market was
exceedingly well patronised and over £100 was realised by the day's
endeavours. The sale was opened by the Rev J D Nairn Rector of Baldock,
through the unavoidable absence of Mrs Bendixson, the Rev Cannon Nairn
was introduced by the Rector the Rev Montague Swatman.
The query stall bearing the query "What will you give for the Pixmore
Church Building Fund" had a list and a box for contributions. This
stall also realised a very large amount of money. The total proceeds were
over £l00 making an amount raised in a little more than one year
of above £670 towards the site required for the new church.
The Church Army Hut
The official opening of this hut is expected to take place some
time next month. The hut is open as a recreation centre every evening of
the week all year round with the exception of 12 evenings when by agreement
the hut is at the disposal of the Rector of Willian. The Rector and Church
Wardens of Willian obtained the erection of the hut undertaking to contribute
a sum of £150 towards the cost of its removal to its present position
on the site of the proposed new Pixmore Church we understand that the sum
of £26 has been contributed towards this locally.
In the Citizen dated 1st January 1920 an editorial appeared which
made reference to an advert requesting people to check the list of those
who died during the Great War.
Those who fell in the war
We hope that our readers will not omit to notice an advertisement
that appears in this issue that has reference to the list of those in the
1st Herts Regiment who fell during the war. To prevent any omissions, the
next-of-kin are requested to verify the list, copies of which can be seen
at the offices of the Citizen etc.
1st Hertfordshire Regiment Memorial
A list of those who fell during the war has now been prepared,
so prevent any omissions, the next-of-kin are requested to verify this
list, copies of which can be seen al the offices of this paper or at the
local office of the Old Comrades Association of the Regiment. B G Gripper
The Citizen dared 16th January 1920 mentioned Baldock's contribution
to the Peace Memorial.
Baldock War Memorial and Hospital
Thanks to the contributions of the town's people an order has been
placed for the memorial tablet on the Town Hall, but the larger part of
the scheme vis, the endowment of a Baldock bed in the Letchworth Hospital
is still to be provided.
It may be well to mention that the Trustees ofrhe Hospital have
most generously admitted that some difficulty might be experienced in raising
the usual endowment of £500 and have promised to accept £300
towards which £70 only is in hand after paying for the tablet so
that £230 is still to be collected. It is only by the courtesy and
consideration of the Letchworth Hospital Authorities that Baldock patients
are admitted and it would gladden the hearts of the Baldock doctors and
nurses if they could feel assured that at any moment a bed is at their
It is suggested that shopkeepers in the town should provide War
Memorial collection boxes on their counters, that ministers should make
a concerted appeal, that employers should give their employees an opportunity
of joining in a firm's subscriprion, that residents should write to all
Old Baldockians and other private schemes be put in hand.
The Church Army Hut, was opened as planned, as reported in the Citizen
dated 30th January 1920.
Church Army Social Centre - New Institution for Letchworth and Willian
Opening Ceremony by Sir Hildred Carlisle
Mr C F Ball the Chairman of the LUDC in seconding a resolution of
thanks to Colonel Sir Hildred Carlisle for declaring open the new social
centre provided by the Church Army in the Baldock Road made use of a aphorism
which put in a nut shell the ideal of the Church Army in establishing social
centres in various parts of the country when he said that, "The devil finds
mischief still for idle hands to do," and that if a man has not his facilities
employed for good ends, they are going to be employed for evil.
There is no possible doubt that the Church Army has struck the keynote
for the progress of Christianity by studying the social welfare of the
citizens of the future as well as the present happiness of the heros who
have fought for us when they decided upon the erection and extension of
various social centres where young fellows and maids, husbands, mothers
and children could meet and enjoy the company of each others society free
from the temptations of strong drink and other influences and the Church
Army responding to the invitation of the Rector and the Church Wardens
of Willian are to be congratulated on establishing such a fine social centre
on a site in the Baldock Road in close proximity to the new houses which
are in course of erection under the new housing scheme and will serve residents
who are in the dual position of being in the ecclesiastic parish of Willian
and at the same time the civil parish of Letchworth, though no doubt the
centre will be patronised by people from far and wide.
There was a crowded attendance at the opening ceremony on Wednesday
afternoon by Colonel Sir Hildred Carlisle Bart when the Rev M S Swatman
Rector of Willian presided, supported by Mr Ebenezer Howard, Mr C F Ball,
the Rev L B Ashby Rural Dean, Captain Carter secretary of the Church Army
Social Services Department, the Rev J Hutchinson Saxton, Mr A W E Bullmore
and Mr F W Bunn and there was also present Rev J H Bailey Rector of Norton
and the Rev Cannon Nairn Rector of Baldock.
Prior to the opening, selections were rendered by Mr Parker's orchestra
which greatly enlivened the occasion in contrast to the very inclement
weather and pitiless rain which descended outside the building.
The Rev M S Swatman the rector of Willian in his opening remarks
as chairman, reminded the company present whilst the Church Army recreation
hut, that was being officially opened that afternoon, was in the civil
parish of Letchworth it was also within the ecclesiastical parish of Willian.
It was owing to the fact that the authorities had ignored ecclesiastical
boundaries in their selection of sites for places of worship which were,
therefore, central only from the point of view of the Garden City as a
whole that they had here a large and thickly populated area around
the factories in which there were no Sunday School, no provision made for
spiritual work, no place of meeting and no church of any denomination.
The difficulty was how to get the residents to realise that anyone had
a care for their mental, moral and spiritual welfare. Various things had
been done but probably the most practical and convincing was the erection
of these fine huts as a recreation centre on the corner of a site that
had been purchased for the building of a church and parochial buildings.
Everyone knew the great work that was being done by these Church Army recreation
centres for which he had practical evidence that there was a real need
in chat neighbourhood. He desired, therefore, to express appreciation of
the action of Church Army Authorities in erecting so fine a centre on the
Colonel Hildred Carlisle at the outset expressed his great appreciation
of the large gathering present not withstanding the heavy rain and he complemented
those living in Willian, Letchworth and Norton for having adopted the Church
Army he alluded to the remoteness and the smallness of Letchworth before
the advent of the Garden City which although it had now grown to a population
of some 14,000 in comparatively very few years it was still a young city.
The Church Army too was a young organisation because although he
had watched its career for the past 40 years it had a power to adapt itself
to changed conditions which was so characteristic of childhood.
It had a power to adapt itself to altered circumstances during the
war it had the power of organising just what was wanted and it had looked
after the social well-being of lads right on the brink of the battle field
now that the lads had returned from the firing line the Church Army had
again done what was necessary in establishing these social centres.
It should be understood that the Pixmore Church Building Fund guaranteed
the sum of £150 coward the removal of these huts to their present
site which proved a great stimulus to the movement. The building was tastefully
decorated for the occasion, flags being kindly lent by Mr & Mrs Knight.
A social evening was held later with music and progressive games and proved
very enjoyable. The collection made during the afternoon amounted to £12
2s 9d which was devoted to the social centre fund.
No further mention of the Peace Memorial or church was made until
the Citizen 12th March 1920.
A very successful whist drive was held on February 26th the object
being to raise funds towards the Letchworth Peace Memorial which it will
be remembered is to take the form of an addition to the proposed new hospital
building. The prizes were donated by the National Federation of Discharged
Soldiers and Sailors, the Letchworth Unionist Club and the Letchworth Labour
Party. Mr C F Ball stated that all must take their share in raising the
large sum required and that efforts like the whist drive they had enjoyed
that evening although seemingly small would if persistence were shown would
result in large amounts being collected.
The representative committee would shortly be issuing an appeal
to each resident and care would be taken to ensure that no one was missed.
A further whist drive would be held on April 7th.
The following week, the Citizen carried a notice regarding the Letchworth
Hospital Annual Meeting. The announcements made in January regarding those
who fell in the war were obviously not heeded for both the editorial and
were repeated in the Citizen dated 1 st April 1920.
The Citizen dated the 16th April 1920 carried a full Front page
advert for the Letchworth Peace Memorial 1914-1919 Hospital.
Special Month of Effort for Peace Memorial
The united appeal for a most urgent need, special month of effort
April 15th to May 15th 1920. People who have been patients in the temporary
hospital pay the highest tributes to the attention they have received therein,
at the same time they have realised the necessity for a larger building.
While Letchworth is a very healthy town residents can not expect complete
immunity from the wear and tear of life.
Peace Memorial - Present Plans
We have two hospital schemes running side by side, the main scheme
and the peace memorial. The present temporary hospital will be bought and
retained in the completed scheme for administrative buildings and as apartments
for the nurses. Some of our readers may recall that before the war Letchworth
had a 1914 Scheme designed to celebrate the tenth birthday of the town.
The war, however, cut across this plan and yet not before much had been
accomplished. The chief features were the provision of a hospital and of
a Boy's Club. We have now a Boy's Club and if we have not a new hospital
yet we have £5.000 and this has not been spent meanwhile in maintenance,
but has been reserved towards the cost of building our new hospital. It
will be used for the erection of an operating theatre, and for the buildings
generally that are shown in the plan in the rear of the whole group of
buildings. The £10,000 that it is hoped to secure in the present
effort will be spent in the building of the wards. The final scheme as
shown in the plan, will be for from 66 to 70 beds. The Peace Memorial effort
is for an immediate provision of 24 beds. Indefinite addition will always
be possible under the present method of hospital planning and it is hoped
that there will be some money too, to serve as an endowment fund.
A delightful hour was spent at the Letchworth Men's Reading Room
on Saturday afternoon when the children of Wendy Lodge School invaded it,
shepherded by Miss Macfadyen the Principle. One of the hours which, like
little Chris Giffin in the play so well rendered by the children, one would
wish to mesmerise.
We must not, however, conclude without mentioning the ethusiasm
and spirited way in which the children intimated their intention of taking
the collection for the Peace Memorial.
We don't know any Latin, and we don't know how to spell,
But we quite see what they're at in, wishing for a hospital.
We hope with much desiring, successful they will be,
In getting for their building,lots and lots of £sd.
This met with a hearty response from the small but appreciative
audience and the collection amounted to £11.
An Appeal to Girls and Boys by a Chum April 9th 1920
My Dear Chums,
I have read in the paper about the
Peace Memorial Hospital that is wanted in Letchworth. I think that we boys
and girls ought to give something towards the building of it. A brick costs
about a 1d, we all have a 1d or more given to us every week, and if, we
give some of the pennies we have given us between April 9th 1920 and May
9th 1920 we could pay for hundreds of bricks, because there are hundreds
of us whe go to school in Letchworth.
I'm glad peace is here again because no more soldiers are
killed and we don't have Zeps. The new hospital is to celebrate peace,
give all the pennies you can. And collect as many pennies as you can and
send them to the new hospital fund.
One of your playmates.
Citizen 301h April 1920 Letchworth Scheme Fire Brigade Display and
Peace Memorial Meeting
The campaign which has been launched to secure £10,000 for
the building of a new hospital for Letchworth received a great impetus
on Saturday last when the Fire Brigade speeded up the effort by an excellent
display and life saving exhibition which was followed by a largely attended
open meeting in the Market Place enlivened at intervals by the spirited
playing of the Letchworth Brass Band.
The thrilling sound of the fire hooter which was put into operation
at 3.10pm precisely set people in wonderment as to what was about to happen
as firemen were seen hurrying to the fire station in answer to the summons,
and in a very few minutes the magnificent fire engine, of which Letchworth
may well feel proud, was underway fully manned by firemen in their glittering
helmets prepared for any emergency.
The engine under the command of Chief Officer J T Hill, took a circuitous
route at full speed scattering the spectators in all directions in response
to the warning note from the engine to clear the road, and eventually the
fire engine pulled up at the spot just off the Market Place where the firemen
dismounted with the aclarity of experts, spun out two separate reels of
hose and before almost one could say, "Robinson.'' two powerful jets of
water were towering up over the roofs of the shops on the
Collonade shedding a spray all round like unto a heavy April shower in
which the firemen themselves were almost extinguished by the spray.
It was announced that on the following Saturday the effort would
be continued by a special programme and procession.
The Citizen dated the 7th May 1920 continued to report on the progress
of the collection for the Letchworth Peace Memorial.
Another Hospital Effort - Pageant Brings Hundreds of Pounds
Letchworth was en-fete once more on Saturday, when there was still
another effort made to speed up the collection of the £10,000 for
the Peace Memorial part of the Hospital Scheme. A procession was arranged,
fine weather favoured proceedings and the trees in our Avenue were just
coming into leaf and provided an admiral setting for the pageant. The various
units fell into position in the Broadway and heading the long line was
Police Inspector Rolfe, Police Constable Anderson, Elkinson and Dickenson
and order and with them one of the marshalls Mr A P Vick
whose stalwart form and that soldiery bearing which were perfected by his
recent experiences in the army qualified him well for leading the new venture
over-the-top. Then there was a quick transition from strength and virility
to grace and beauty, as white cloud of Spirella girls floated into view.
These were the appeal girls, and they wore banners with a letter on each
banner so that as the eyes ran along the symbols we read the bidding,"Please
freely." Those who took part in this winsome section of the
procession were: Misses Oliver, May, Kirby, Westaway, Street, Cunnif,
Swain, Stokes, Maylin, Taylor, Davies, Rowley, Aylot, Scales, Fells, Leek,
Bell, Moore, Alien, Clements, Glenister, Barsby, Bennett, Charles, Hodder
Before Saturday arrived, there were whispers in the town that the
Spirella had a surprise instore for us, that the managers had something
up their sleeves that would stagger us. A little later in the procession
the secret emerged as a replica of "Sir George Frampton's statue of the
heroic Nurse Cavell," a monument that had been erected in London, between
the Church of St Martin's in the Field and the National Portrait Gallery.
There was a murmour of admiration as this white monument, towering above
all else came
slowly along, surrounded with green turf, and bearing the words,
"Endurance, Humanity, Fortitude, Sacrifice."
When at night the amount received in the collection came to be counted,
it was found that the total was £103 16s 6d. Members of the Hospital
Special Effort Committee were grateful to all who assisted in any way by
sending cars, collecting, or doing anything to crown the effort with success.
In aid of the hospital - A Norton Entertainment
A charming entertainment organised by Miss Booth in aid of the hospital
and given by the pupils of the School and Kindergarden of Miss Booth and
Miss Baker Eastholm, was enjoyed on the afternoon of last Saturday in the
Studio, Norton Road, kindly lent as their contribution to the hospital
by Mr & Mrs Williams. Parents and other friends assembled and were
alternately charmed and amused.., and it is a high tribute to the children
that though the hospital procession was passing through the town
not one pupil deserted the
school to view the pageant. The amount secured for the hospital
collection was £6-6s-8d.
(There was also a half page advert urging people to contribute.)
Hospital or No Hospital?
Less than 250 of the 10,000 inhabitants of Letchworth have so far
subscribed £1866 7s 6d towards the £10,000 required. Why are
people holding back?
It can not be too strongly emphasised that the present hospital
at Pixmore Farm house can not go on much longer. The working conditions
for the nurses and for many other reasons are impossible, something must
be done at once.
There are three ways by which you can contribute:
1) By sending your subscription or promise to either of the Hon
2) By giving to the collector who will call upon you.
3) By bringing your donation or promise to the chairman of the
committee who will sit in the Howard Hall to receive gifts on Saturday
May 15th from 3pm till 8pm.
(A similar advert appeared in the Citizen dated 14th May 1920.)
You have not contributed!
Less than one twentieth of the people of the town have shown their
practical interest in the effort now being made to raise the £10,000
required if the hospital is to be carried on. What is going to be done?
Frankly unless subscriptions come in it looks as if the hospital in Letchworth
will cease to exist. What then? The hospital must carry on. You can contribute.
Tomorrow ends the special month of effort. Don't let it pass
without contributing your share.
Peace Memorial Fund Garden Party at the Hospital
Still endevouring to secure more and more money for the hospital
some of our leading citizens organised a garden party and entertainment
in the hospital grounds on Wednesday and the visitors, of whom there were
many, were received by the gracious hostesses Mrs Ledward, Mrs Norman Macfadyen
and Mrs Sibbert.
The centre of the proceedings was the cedar tree on the lawn and
Dr Norman Macfadyen in opening the fete remarked that the hospital did
not belong to the nurses nor the doctors, but to the people who supported
it. So far only £2,000 has been subscribed towards the £10,000
but he knows that some of the small subcriptions represent real self denial
and sacrifice, while some of the large donations which they expected and
had a right to expect had not yet been received. Ensuring the need for
the hospital building, he said, that in a quiet period a nurse would have
to go up the stairs 96 times in a single night and during the day the nurses
have to run up and down more than 200 times.
Although the balance sheet has not been completed it is believed
that about £80 was obtained for the hospital.
Folk Dances at the Cloisters - An Interesting Letchworth Gathering
A steady stream of citizens set in last Saturday for the Cloisters,
kindly lent by Miss Annie J Lawrence to witness in the grounds there a
display of Folk Dancing. The hospital will benefit to the amount of £22-4s-3d
from the arrangement of this charming gathering.
(Even though the month of effort was now over, Annie Lawrence wrote
in the Citizen dated the 21st May 1920.)
Shall we have our Hospital - by A J Lawrence
What is to be done if the necessary money does not come in to build
the larger hospital? What should we do without a hospital here? Must we
return to those days when accidents had to be tended to privately or carried
off to Hitchin or Cambridge? Why should we ask other people to attend to
our sick, Letchworth as a community is large enough now to attend to its
The real question remains, is everybody contributing his part to
the building fund and paying his or her share. There are in our city 10,000
people, more than half of these are children, so if every adult gave a
shilling we would have £250 and we want £10,000, but it is
expected that each shall give in proportion to his means. Let us assume
that three quarters of the households have under £150 or £200
a year, the other quarter possibly three times that amount, or a few people,
at the outside, seven times. If the three quarters, say 4,000 people, pay
a shilling we have £200 still leaving £9.800 for the other
quarter who have three times the income and a few who have seven times.
No, the burden for each must be greater, surely for every family, however
poor, it is worth five shillings to feel that when sickness and accident
come upon themselves or their children there is a place where they will
be skillfully and mercifully treated and brought back to health if possible.
If 3,000 families give five shillings we should have £750
and if those can barely give such a sum all at once it could easily be
collected at a shilling a week for five weeks, and I would add another
shilling to each donation up to £300 which would then bring the sum
to over £1,000. For the honour of Letchworth there must also come
forward the young men and women offering up to their city the cost of their
cigarettes or their elegant hosiery and blouses for a week or two. S upposing
they fell off their bicycle and had a leg broken, they will expect to be
lifted up gently and moved quickly in an ambulance, operated upon skillfully,
nursed and watched over night and day for many weeks and possibly sent
to Cambridge for an examination and at last be sent home again as well
as before. What can they return for such a privilege? How paltry a few
cigarettes or finery would seem in exchange for that. Yet such might be
anyone's fate. There are today no orders of monks or knights errant given
to charitable work, but do our citizens want charity. These young men and
girls earning over thirty shillings a week, Letchworth must hold itself
up more proudly, it must not ask a few persons to contribute £9,000
to nurse them when they are ill. In the first days of Garden City money
was very scarce, is it scarce today? Shilling after shilling is being expended
upon some trivial comfort or luxury or show which when the moment is passed
would never be missed. This is not poverty when money is expended in this
way. There is no call upon other members of the community to give two and
three hundred times the amount per head to nurse people who are spending
their weekly wage on superfluous comforts and forms of luxury which only
creates a demand for more. For the honour of Letchworth we must build and
support a hospital of our very own, being a separate district with our
own Council we have no outside body to call upon. The meaning of Garden
City is that we are able to realise our actual responsibilities and when
everyone takes his share the whole fund will be completed.
Crowning the May Queen - Muriel Wheeler - Pleasing Letchworth Ceremony
Bright sunshine and yet a cool breeze favoured the May Festival
last Saturday afternoon on Westholm Green when the rite of crowning the
new May Queen was performed in a setting of hawthorn blossom and amidst
of many birds including nightingales. When tea was over - went
to Howard Hall with an offering of £l0 to the Peace Memorial Fund
the result of the days proceedings.
Kryn & Lahy Sports Club Fancy Dress Carnival on May 12th in
aid of the Letchworth Peace Memorial Fund. They collected a total of £65
which was forwarded to Letchworth Peace Memorial Fund.
The organising secretary A P Vick published list of donations and
promises which had been received upto Wednesday, May 19th £2430-10s-ld
brought forward, total to date £3309
Another war had just finished, and once again the town's thoughts
turned to a possible peace memorial. So it was that at the Letchworth Urban
District Council's General Purposes Committee, held on Wednesday, 5th September
1945 at 7.3Opm a letter dated 27th August 1945 from Mrs F Square was read
out asking the council to call a Town's Meeting to consider the question
of a Peace Memorial for Letchworth and suggesting a fitting memorial would
be a Health Centre with a Maternity and Child Welfare Clinic as a foundation.
The result of this was a letter, dated 31st October 1945, sent out
to various organisations.
The Urban District Council consider that the time is approaching
when a decision on the form of a Town War Memorial should be reached. In
their view this is a matter on which a Town's Meeting would be required,
but they would not propose to hold this meeting until early in 1946 xxxx50
that time might be given for more men from the Services to return to civilian
They feel, however, that it is necessary to prepare a scheme to
be put before this Town's Meeting and I am accordingly to invite your organisation
to consider what, in their view, would be appropriate, and to appoint a
representative to attend a meeting to consider the matter, which will be
held in the Council Chamber on Thursday, 22nd November 1945, at 8pm.
It would be very helpful and would expedite the conduct of the meeting
if I could be informed not later than the 19th November what proposal your
organisation intend to make.
Yours faithfully, J V Novel, Clerk and Solicitor
The Citizen 23rd November 1945 had two notices:
Sunday 11th November 1945 Armistice Day service at Cenotaph at 11am
followed by meeting in the Broadway cinema.
Thursday 22nd November 1945 meeting proposed moving the war memorial
to Town Square with wall of remembrance. Mr F C Doyle secretary British
Legion. Other organisations including Catholic Church supported proposal.
Citizen 30th November 1945
Three suggestions were put forward as peace memorial, A community
centre, a hostel for elderly people and a sports stadium. A committee of
9 were elected, Mr L Stubbs, Miss F M Lees, Mr J H Haysman, Mr Fred Nott,
Mr J C Knowles, Miss M M Webb, Mr J C Day, Mr W D Joslin, and Mr J J Pruton
together with the clerk Mr J D Rowland and surveyor Mr G T Hill.
I could then find no further mention of the Letchworth War Memorial
until this report of the General Purposes Committee, held on Monday, 2nd
July 1951 at 8.00pm:
The Clerk reported that the Chief Constable has sanctioned the street
collection to be held in aid of the Letchworth War Memorial Fund on Saturday,
25th August 1951.
This was followed by a further General Purposes Committee report
of their meeting held on Monday, 1st October 1951 at 8.00pm:
The Chairman reported that the nett amount collected for the War
Memorial Scheme was approximately £220 and the estimated cost to
carry out the proposed War Memorial Scheme was £700.
Resolved: That the War Memorial Committee be asked to consider the
matter and to make such recommendations as they deem advisable.
Letchworth War Memorials
The War Memorial Committee held on Monday 5th January 1953 was chaired
by Councillor E G Gardiner, and in attendance were Councillors D Bird,
H Gay, Mr A J Thompson, Mrs D S Gough, Mrs C E Bywaters, Mrs W Harris representing
Mrs Barry Parker and Mr J H Haysman. Also present were Mr R B Hall Hon.
Architect, Mr H Plinston Hon. Secretary, Mr R Young Hon. Treasurer, Mr
E C Johnson Surveyor to the Council, Miss M F Steel Hon. Assistant Secretary.
Apologies were received from Councillor G F Woodbridge and Mr A Gavin Jones.
The Hon. Architect submitted a Layout Plan and Scheme in connection
with the existing War Memorial site in Station Place, which provided for
a bronze Roll of Honour to commemorate those who fell in the 1939-1945
war, the Roll to be affixed to brick walling to be sited at the rear of
the existing Memorial, the intervening area being laid out with flower
beds, lawns, stone paving, seats and hedges. The Surveyor reported that
the total estimated cost of the scheme was £1000 and he submitted
a modified scheme incorporating the bronze Roll of Honour as previously
suggested together with flower beds, lawns and hedges, but omitting the
stone walling, part of the stone paving and the seats; the estimated cost
of this modified scheme being £390.
It was unanimously Resolved:
a) That the modified scheme be approved and that the Council be
requested to agree to have the Scheme carried out at an early date, the
balance of cost to be met by the Council as the Committee are of the opinion
that it is undesirable to make a further public appeal.
b) That, subject to the Council agreeing to proceed with the modified
Scheme, it be suggested that particulars thereof be made available to the
public to help allay the concern that no action had been taken with regard
to the War Memorial Scheme even
though a sum of £216 had been raised over 12 months ago.
For the information of the Committee, the Surveyor submitted a layout
plan and scheme for the improvement of the Station Forecourt, as complementary
to the War Memorial Scheme which would be submitted to the next meeting
of the appropriate Committee
It was estimated that these works of improvement would cost approximately
The Committee expressed approval of the proposals.
Resolved: That the report be approved, and the work to be put in
General Purposes Committee Monday 2nd March 1953 8.00pm
The Clerk reported that the list of names and decorations proposed
to be inscribed on the Roll of Honour has been on deposit at The Council
House and The Public Library for inspection by the public, and general
publicity given thereto.
General Purposes Committee Monday 27th April 1953 9.15pm
It was reported that the Management Committee of the Letchworth
Common Good Fund at their meeting on Tuesday 17th March 1953 had agreed
that, subject to the Council being prepared to meet one half of the deficit
on the War Memorial Scheme, they would make an equivalent contribution
from the Fund, up to a maximum of £100.
Resolved: Offer accepted with thanks.
General Purposes Committee Monday 8th June 1953 8.00pm
The Surveyor reported that the alterations to the War Memorial and
the laying out of the adjacent Gardens would be completed in August 1953.
Resolved: That the Chairman be authorised to make the necessary
arrangements for the unveiling of the Memorial, preferably to take place
on the 8th November 1953.
General Purposes Committee Monday 14th September 1953 8.00pm
The Clerk submitted a request from the Letchworth Branch of the
British Legion that consideration be given to the floodlighting of the
War Memorial on Remembrance Day. The Surveyor reported on the matter, and
stated that the British Tabulating Machine
Company Ltd., had kindly agreed to loan two lighting units for
the occasion, but it would be necessary to install lighting points.
i) That the Surveyor be authorised to arrange for the permanent
wiring of two floodlighting points at the War Memorial at a cost not exceeding
£20, and that the British Tabulating Machine Co. offer of the
loan of two lighting units be accepted with many thanks.
ii) That provided the necessary arrangements can be made within
the specified cost, the War Memorial be floodlighted on Sunday, 8th November
until Wednesday, the 11th November.
General Purposes Committee Monday 26th October 1953 8.00pm
The Clerk reported upon the arrangements for the unveiling and dedication
of the 1939-1945 Roll of Honour, during the Service of Remembrance to be
held on Sunday, 8th November 1953, commencing at 10.BOam, and the Chairman
asked for the support of the
Council at the Service.
Citizen 6th November 1953
The guard of honour will he formed by a detachment of the Royal
Navy from HMS Ganges, the 1St Herts Regt (T.A.) the Royal Air Force and
the Womens Royal Air
Sorry this chart this re-formatting
1 Salvation Army Band
12 Girl Guides
2 RAF & WRAF
3 Home Guard
14 Boys Brigade
4 Civil Defence
15 St John's Cadets
16 Official Reps
6 St John's Ambulance
17 Next of Kin
7 Boy Scouts
18 Services Assocs
19 Royal Navy
20 T.A. Regt.
21 Fire Brigade
11 Sea Scouts
Guard of Honour features from left to right
TA RAF RN TA
8 9 10
5 12 13
Citizen 13th November 1953
Letchworth Memorial to its Gallant Dead
A tablet on which are inscribed the names of 197 Letchworth's men
and women who lost their lives in the Second World War was unveiled by
the Chief Citizen, Councillor G F Woodbridge, Chairman of the Urban District
Council, on Sunday. It stands a short distance from the War Memorial commemorating
those who made the supreme sacrifice in the 1914-1918 war, and when the
work is completed the setting of this hallowed spot near Letchworth Station
will be dignified and lovely. The ceremony was impressive. It was a real
town occasion, for practically every Letchworth organisation was represented,
and in a place of honour were the next-of-kin, many carrying floral tributes.
All the services were represented, the Navy (by the lads of the
HMS Ganges), the RAF and WRAF, the officers and men of the 1st Herts Regiment.
There was a strong muster of the British Legion with their standards. In
addition there were the Home Guard, the ATC, the ACF, Sea Cadets, Boys'
Brigade, GLB, CLB, the police, the fire service, the St John's Ambulance
and the British Red Cross, the GTC, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides,
representatives of the Civil Defence, the local WVS and members of the
UDC and staff.
Resting on arms reversed were two Army Sergeants, a Naval Officer
and a RAF NCO. They stood immobile at the side of the new memorial until
the Union Jack was removed by Mr Woodbridge. The service was conducted
by the Rector, the Rev F A Hill and the lesson was read by Sergeant Caddy
of the Salvation Army.
In his address, Major Swan, of the Salvation Army, urged that to
get the world right man had to put himself right first.
Mr Woodbridge, in a short address prior to the unveiling, asked
the people of Letchworth to pass the Memorial with reverence and with the
memory of the supreme sacrifice of Letchworth man and women in their minds.
The Salvation Army Band accompanied the singing of the hymns, and
the sounding of the "Reveille" was followed by the British Legion extorting
clearly said by the chairman, Mr F C Doyle. Following the "Last Post" and
the National Anthem official and private wreaths were layed at the Memorial.
It was another chapter of a sad but brave local history.
Addressing the congregation at the Remembrance Day service at the
Broadway Cinema on Sunday, Mr John Loxham suggested that Letchworth was
an ideal place to try to build up peace and goodwill. Introducing his text
- "Be not overcome of evil, but
return evil with good" - towards the close of a striking address,
Mr Loxham said that to try to return evil for evil was to build suspicion
Letchworth, with its many voluntary organisations whose objects
were "service above self," was a place in which they could practice the
returning of good for evil and the building up among its citizens the spirit
of peace and goodwill. Mr Loxham had said
previously that good would always triumph over evil, however improbable
it seemed at times.
The evil doer, he said, became inefficient and brought about his
He instanced three reasons for Hitler's failure: (1) Pearl Harbour,
which brought the USA into the war, (2) the attack on Russia, bringing
the Soviet Union in as well; and (3) the failure to harness atomic missiles
to the V1 and V2. What, he asked, were we doing to be worthy of that great
The Letchworth Band led members of the British Legion and other
organisations in procession from the Howard Hall. During the singing of
the hymn, "Praise to the Holiest" the standards of the British Legion and
of the Women's section of the Letchworth branch, with those of other organisations
were carried to the platform and received by the Rector, the Rev. F.A.
Hill, who conducted the service.
The chairman of the UDC Mr G F Wood bridge, read the lesson and
following address the "Last Post" and "Reveille" were sounded, Lt. Col.
A Gavin-Jones leading the Legion pledge and the salute to the dead.
The service was organised by the Letchworth branch of the British
Legion, and on their behalf the Rector thanked the proprietors of the Broadway
Cinema and their staff.
Letchworth War Memorials
General Purposes Committee Monday 7th December 1953 8.OOpm
a) The Clerk reported that satisfactory arrangements were made for
the unveiling of the 1939-1945 War Memorial on Sunday, 8th November 1953.
b) The Surveyor reported that temporary floodlighting was provided at the
Memorial from the 8th to 11th November inclusive and that he has expressed
the Council's thanks to the British Tabulating Machine Co. for the loan
of the two lighting units then used.
He submitted a quotation from the Eastern Electricity Board for
wiring of two floodlighting points at the War Memorial in the sum
of £29 17s 6d exclusive of reinstatement costs.
Resolved: That the Surveyor be authorised to accept the quotation,
and to install permanent floodlighting equipment for use from time to time
at the War Memorial.
c) The Clerk reported that the estimated expenditure would amount
to £419 14s 5d against the income of £246 12s 1d received from
the appeal and the street collection, the deficit to be met out of the
General Rate Fund and the Letchworth Common Good Fund: andthat a meeting
of the War Memorial Committee would be summoned to receive final accounts,
and to dissolve the Committee.
Resolved: That the officers and members of the War Memorial Committee
be thanked for their services in carrying out and completing the War Memorial
Scheme and that it be left to the War Memorial Committee to decide the
payment to be made to the Hon.
General Purposes Committee Monday 18th January 1954 8.00pm
The Clerk submitted the report of the War Memorial Committee dated
December 1953, and stated that Mr R B Hall A.R.I.B.A. Hon. Architect,
did not wish to
receive any fee for the preparation of the War Memorial Schemes,
and that the sum of £2 2s 0d would cover the out-of-pocket expenses
incurred by him.
Resolved: That Mr R B Hall be thanked for his generosity in carrying
out the War Memorial Scheme without charge and that the very modest amount
to £2 2s 0d to cover
out-of-pocket expenses be reimbursed to him.
General Purposes Committee Monday 26th July 1954 8.31pm
The Clerk reported that the Station Forecourt Improvement Scheme
(which excluded the War Memorial site), has been completed at a total cost
of £245 18s 8d, and that the Spirella Company of Great Britain Ltd.,
have contributed one-half of the cost.
i) That the thanks of the Council be conveyed to the Spirella Company
of Great Britain Ltd., for their generous donation towards the cost of
the Improvement Scheme.
ii) That the War Memorial site and the area of the Improvement Scheme
be named the "War Memorial and Station Place Gardens".
General Purposes Committee Monday 25th October 1954 8.00pm
The Surveyor reported that at the Committee's request, he had considered
the installation of permanent floodlighting equipment at the War Memorial
and submitted quotations for alternative proposals.
Resolved: That consideration of the installation of permanent floodlighting
of the War Memorial be deferred until the permanent street lighting scheme
for that area has been settled.
General Purposes Committee Monday 5th November 1956 9.00pm
British Legion Remembrance Service would take place on 11th November
1956 at 10.45am. Chairman would lay a wreath on behalf of the town.
General Purposes Committee Monday 21st October 1957 7.30pm
In the event of the British Legion not making arrangements this
year, service would take
place on 10th November 1956 at 3pm.
General Purposes Committee Monday 2nd December 1957 8.00pm
Council to consider instructions for future services. The Rev H
Donald has suggested that in future years the Service be held at one or
other of the Churches and at
the conclusion of the Service there could be a parade to the War
Memorial for the laying of wreaths.
General Purposes Committee Monday 24th February 1958 8.00pm
On the Wednesday 22nd January 1958 there was a meeting of Representative
Bodies and Organisations.
Resolved: Remembrance Service would be indoors in afternoon, followed
by Laying of
Wreaths at War Memorial.
General Purposes Committee Monday 20th October 1958 8.00pm
Remembrance Service at Broadway Hall on Sunday 9th November 1958
at 3pm followed
by Laying of Wreaths at War Memorial.
Letter from Alan Fleck, Arts & Museums Officer 23rd April 1990
Dear Ms Allwood, Secretary of LGCS
I understand that some time ago there was a proposal to move Letchworth
War Memorial from its current position close to the Station to a new site
Gardens between Broadway and South View, or between South View
and Meadow Way. It would seem that this proposal had some merits since
Remembrance Day observance parade obstructed traffic flow and was itself
disturbed by traffic noise. The suggested new site would, if appropriately
landscaped, prove more satisfactory on these grounds.
1 write to enquire whether your organisation has any objection in
principle to such a change of Site of the Letchworth War Memorial.
Finally an item I should have included in the last issue, but is
probably not out of place in view of the latest plan to move the War Memorial.
Modified War Memorial Scheme to cost £390 (Citizen 1st February
The final date for additions and alterations is February 18th for
the list of names on the Roll of Honour. Councillor D Bird said, he was
sorry that the original intention of moving the memorial was not going
to be carried out, the surround of the memorial was used by people waiting
at the bus stop to rest their parcels on. He suggested that the council
should try to get the bus stop moved. Councillor E G Gardinder said, that
the proposed gardens would extend to the side of present site of the memorial
and it was hoped that the improvement of the remainder of the area would
encourage people to respect it. The effect would be that people who arrived
at the Garden City would see a different picture from what the saw at present.
The council approved a plan and estimate of £250 for the proposed
two shrubberies at the Station Forecourt. The clerk will test the possibility
of getting contributions towards the cost from other sources.
Footnote: Only £216 was received in response to the appeal
for voluntary subscriptions for the War Memorial made twelve months ago,
the appeal was for £700.