People, places and events in the parish's history

Shawford War Memorial Centenary

Shawford War Memorial Centenary?

Shawford War Memorial Centenary
Early morning at the War Memorial on Shawford Down. 6 November 2020.
View across the Itchen Valley to Twyford Church.

Since 14 September 2016, the War Memorial on Shawford Down has been a Grade II Listed Monument.

The Historic England website[1]Shawford Down War Memorial List Entry Number: 1437813 states that the

memorial was dedicated at Shawford Down by the Bishop of Winchester on 4 April 1921 as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community, who lost their lives in the First World War. It commemorates 17 local servicemen who died during the First World War. Following the Second World War, a dedication was added to commemorate the 14 fallen of that conflict.

So it’s just celebrated its centenary? Not so.

A long report in the Hampshire Chronicle of 10 July 1920[2]Hampshire Records Office Item 1M76/PP18 tells the story of an earlier dedication.

At the end of the Great War, the parish had formed a committee to erect a memorial to local men who had perished in the conflict. The chairman was Mr. G.R.Crawford of Avonmore, who was later, for many years, conductor of the Festival Choir[3]Mr. Crawford had also been a key member of the committee which had created the Wayside Cross, dedicated on 24 April 1918.

Mr. W. H. Killick (of “Lynstead,” Shawford) had designed the memorial in rough-dressed Portland stone; a double-headed Latin cross whose four arms allow the cross to be seen from all directions.

Dedication on 8 July 1920

The cross, which had been completed a month or so earlier, was dedicated on Thursday afternoon (8 July 1920) by the Rev. Canon Daldy, Archdeacon-Elect of Winchester.

After several days of heavy rain, the weather had cleared up for the dedication service in the afternoon.

Rev. J. C. Blackett (Rector),  robed clergy and the church choir had led a procession from the Parish Hall.

Attendees included members of the Parish Council, of the Memorial Committee, and local people including several who had lost relatives in the war, with four buglers from the Hampshire Depot who sounded the “Last Post”.

Mr. Arthur Heathcote, recently arrived in the parish, had lost his two sons.

Mr. Henry White, formerly of Shawford Close, a previous chairman of the Parish Council and County Coroner for 25 years, had also lost a son. He gave a moving concluding address.

In the absence of Mr. W. G. Toogood, the Chairman of the, Parish Council, Mr. Pearson, Vice-Chairman and church-warden, announced that he was authorised to say that the Parish Council would accept the charge of the Memorial.


Barbara Clegg[4]Compton and Shawford – The Story of a Quiet Parish, by Barbara Clegg. A few copies still available at £5 towards church funds. tells us that

A few feet from the base of the cross a stone is let into the ground with this inscription “Write on this, not on our War Memorial”. It was the gift of the late Captain Basil Johnston, R.N. (1889-1962). It has evidently fulfilled its purpose.

The stone, shown here, is just visible in the picture of the cross above.

Early morning at the Shawford Down War Memorial.
17 April 2021
Stone donated by Captain Basil Johnson

Adrian Walmsley
for the Local History Society

This article appeared in the Compton & Shawford Parish Magazine May 2021

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References

References
1Shawford Down War Memorial List Entry Number: 1437813
2Hampshire Records Office Item 1M76/PP18
3Mr. Crawford had also been a key member of the committee which had created the Wayside Cross, dedicated on 24 April 1918
4Compton and Shawford – The Story of a Quiet Parish, by Barbara Clegg. A few copies still available at £5 towards church funds.