|Four Victims of the Great War Dedication of a Rood Screen
A crowded congregation assembled in the Parish Church at Newton Bromswold on Tuesday evening when a memorial to four men who fell in the Great War was dedicated by the Rev. H. K. Fry (Rural Dean).
The memorial is in the form of a beautiful rood screen in oak. Over the central opening is some very fine tracery in one piece. Into the four other openings, two on each side, metal grills are fixed, and at the top, further pieces of tracery of a similar pattern to that in the centre. The tracery was worked by Mr. Reynolds of Northampton. An oak tablet, 18 inches by 9inches with moulded edge, on the wall, bears the inscription:-
This screen was erected to the memory of the brave men of Newton Bromswold, who fell in the Great War, 1914-18.
Pte. Henry Bates, 1st Northants Regt.
Pte. John Cecil Boddington, 7th Northants Regt.
Pte Charles Edwin Onion, 2nd Northants Regt.
Pte John Robert Cooper, Machine Gun Corps.
Messrs. Talbot Brown and Fisher, of Wellingborough, were the architects and the contractors were Messrs. Whittington and Tomlin, of Rushden.
The Rector (Rev. W. M. McCleery) conducted the service, which included a special hymn “The supreme sacrifice”. The Rev. H. K. Fry dedicated the screen in the following terms:-
“In the faith of Jesus Christ we dedicate this screen to the glory of God and in memory of His servants, John Cecil Boddington, Henry Bates, John Robert Cooper and Edwin Onion in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”.
In the course of an impressive address Mr. Fry said they had met to commemorate particularly those of this parish who offered themselves for duty at the call of their country and in the hour of the country’s need, along with thousands of others from tiny hamlets and villages and from crowded cities. We speak rightly he proceeded of the sacrifice the fallen made in volunteering, as they did, when the need came for them to serve their country, but we ought to realise that the men who laid down their lives did not really undertake to do any more than a great many of the men who went through, in many cases, even more than some who died. Again when we speak of sacrifice, we forget what a tremendous sacrifice it was, not merely for the man who died, but for those left at home the mothers, fathers, friends, lovers they all had their part in this sacrifice. As to the form of the memorial, I think it is very gratifying to look upon this particular form of memorial, partly because this screen is one thing towards building up, reconstructing, restoring, what has been cast down ruthlessly by vandals in years gone by. None of us can have any idea how beautiful and helpful our churches were when they were at their best as their builders left them, and before the hands of the vandal were laid upon them. The churches were made beautiful, designed for the worship of God, and adorned, for God’s glory in the first instance, and next, in order that they might be helpful to the worshipers and remind them of the facts of their faith.
Having pointed out the lesson derived from the threefold arrangement of the church, Mr. Fry proceeded: One of the satisfactory points about your memorial is that is has been subscribed for not only be residents in the parish but also by several old friends of Newton, who still have an affectionate regard for the parish. The work has been designed and executed by people in our own district and county, and that is a happy thought. This screen wil be a reminder, not only for those four men, but of those also who took part in the sacrifice in any way, and not only the emn but of the war itself. It is for us to be faithful to the memory of those who died for the country and it is for us to live for our own country, in the faith of Jesus Christ.
The offertory, for the screen fund, realised £4/1/0. After the Blessing, the Last Post was sounded by buglers of the Higham Ferrers C. L. B., stationed in the porch, and, after a solemn pause, the buglers sounded the Reveille as a reminder of the Resurrection.
Note in the following week’s paper : The amount raised at the dedication of the war memorial has totalled £5.10.0.