Centenary of the Unveiling of the Wayside Cross Memorial to WW1, Kingsley

Kingsley’s War Memorial was unveiled on Sunday, 20th February 1921, (the photograph below depicts the occasion). In fact, there are two memorials, a plaque in St. Werburgh’s Church and a Wayside Cross on Dovedale Road, at its junction with Church Street. (Dovedale Road was a field in 1921).

Unveiling of Wayside Cross February 1921

The cost of Kingsley’s plaque was met by parishioners and friends of the men who had died. The Wayside Cross was paid for by the parents of Robert Myles-Heywood, in honour of their son’s memory and in memory of the men from the parish who also died in the war.

It is not clear why the Heywood’s chose this spot for their son’s memorial. However, they had close links with St. Werburgh’s Church for a number of years and they were friends of the Bolton family whose factory was at Froghall.

A comprehensive report of the event was recorded in either the Cheadle and Tean Times or the Cheadle Herald and it is reproduced here. The newspapers in which the report appeared are no longer available.

‘Impressive service took place in Kingsley afternoon, when the memorial tablet erected on the west wall of the church, and the wayside cross were unveiled’ The former has been erected by the parishioners and others, and is a handsome tribute, in white marble on a grey marble slab, to the memory of those from this parish who made the great sacrifice in the late war. The wayside cross erected by the roadside leading from the church on to Froghall, is also a handsome monument standing some 17ft. high from a stone base. It is made of Hollington stone, and has been erected by Mr and Mrs H. Heywood, of Hales Hall, Cheadle, to the memory of their only child, Robert Myles Heywood, who died of wounds on February 15th 1915. This also bears the names of the Kingsley men who fell in action.

The proceedings commenced soon after two o’clock, when 50 or 60 of the ex-service men were marshalled on the Oak Bank by Lieut. T. Alcock, and, accompanied by the schoolchildren, tradespeople and others.

Meanwhile a large congregation was assembling in the church, and by the time that the ex­ Servicemen were seated the church was filled to overflowing. There must have been two or three hundred people unable to find accommodation, but these remained in the precincts of the church. Amongst the congregation were Mr. and Mrs. R. Heywood, Colonel Crooke (cousin of Mrs. Heywood, Dr. and Mrs. Bearblock, and Mr. E.J. and Mrs. Bolton, Oakamoor, and many other prominent local residents.

The service was most impressive, and the hymns were well sung by the vast congregation. The clergy present were the Rector (the Rev. W. G. Mayne), and the Rev. J.H.J. Daggar (Foxt with Whiston), and the Rev. S.H. Hoare (Hanley), formerly chaplain to the Overseas Forces, who preached a sermon most appropriate to the occasion. He particularly laid stress on the great sacrifices made by the mothers and wives in the loss of their loved ones.

Previous to the sermon the memorial tablet erected by the public was handed over to the care of the church by Mrs. Jas Bradshaw, sen., on behalf of the subscribers and from the rectory.

As the clergy and choir left the church to proceed to the wayside cross, the recessional hymn, “For All the Saints,” was sung. Mr. Holbrook was the organist.  The collection for St. Dunstan’s Hostel was £14.

Rarely, if ever, has a larger concourse of people assembled in Kingsley than that which attended the simple but beautiful service by the wayside. The roadway was lined and the banks too, albeit a more orderly or reverent crowd never were together. Every word of the Rector’s dedication was listened to eagerly, and as Mrs.Bearblock unfurled the Union Jack from the base of the Cross the silence was most impressive. Then the whole congregation joined in the singing of the hymn O God Our Help In Ages Past, the band accompanying.

Dr.Bearbrook added a few words to the excellent sermon heard in the church, and said, could he have his way, he would have erected throughout England these wayside crosses as a reminder for the great sacrifices made by these heroes.

Still another impressive part was seen when the whole of the ex-servicemen

filed singly past the cross, and each one saluted to the memory of his comrades.

Wreaths were then deposited at the foot of the Cross, these including the following: –

“In grateful memory, from the subscribers to the tablet”;

“In loving memory of our dear son Gunner G.Ramsell”;

“In memory of the members of the Kingsley Reading Room”;

“In sacred remembrance of G.H.Smith, from his father, mother, brothers and sisters”;

“In loving memory of our dear brother, Geo.Ramsell”;

“Kingsley United Service Club, in memory of our fallen comrades, also    Lieut. Heywood, of Hales Hall, from ex-servicemen of the parish”;

“In loving memory of Pte. Brindley, from mother and family”;

“In fond remembrance of Pte.Geo.Wheawall”;

“In remembrance of Jas.Poyser”;

“In memory of fallen heroes, from the Kingsley Red Cross Society.”

Both during the service in the church and at the Cross, the “Last Post” was sounded by Mr Ralph Hall.

The tablet in the church, which is the work of Messrs. Mellor, of Burslem, bears the following inscription: “To the Glory of God and grateful memory of the men of this parish who gave their lives for their King and Country in the Great War, 4th August 1914 -11th November 1918.

Geo.H.Smith, Sept  22nd  1914;

Robert  M.Heywood,  Feb 15th  1915;

Rowland  A.I.Beech, Feb 21st,  1915;

Thomas Salt, Oct 9th 1915;

James Poyser, March 16th, 1916;

Charles Allen Aug. 12th, 1916;

Isaac Hammond, Aug 31st, 1916;

Arthur Keene, Oct. 12th, 1916;

Thomas Clowes, Oct. 19th, 1916;

Ernest Upton, April 9th, 1917;

George Fallows, April 19th, 1917;

Edward E. Bradshaw, May 21st, 1917;

George Wheawall, Aug.8th, 1917;

Thomas Barker, Aug.8th, 1917;

Rowland J. Burston Dec.12th, 1917;

James Meakin, Jan. 20th, 1918;

Jas.H.Wildgoose, May 8th, 1918;

Colin Capewell, May 26th, 1918;

George Ramsell, Aug. 8th, 1918;

Moses Holland, Oct 5th, 1918;

Wm. Brindley, Nov 2nd, 1918;

John W. Salt, Nov 18th, 1918;

Kenneth R Lovatt, Dec 5th ,1918;

Rowland J Beech, Aug 30th, 1919;

Erected by the parishioners and other friends.

The inscription at the base of the cross is as follows: “Robert Myles Heywood, of Hales Hall, Cheadle, Lieut., 2nd Batt. The Buffs, born Feb. 1st, 1884, died Feb. 15th 1915, of wounds received in action near Ypres, Feb.14th, ‘ln Domino Confido.’ Erected by his parents in cherished remembrance of their only child. Also in honoured memory of the men of Kingsley who laid down their lives for their country in the Great War 1914-1918. ‘They died that we might live.’

Interestingly, George Price-Bevans is listed on the Wayside Cross but for reasons unknown is not recorded on the St. Werburgh’s Plaque.  His listing on the Wayside Cross seems to have been a later addition as it is listed after Rowland Beech (Snr) who died before him.

Two other names who feature on the Wayside Cross, (G. W. Hood and J. Tideswell) appear to be later additions. They are inscribed under the names of men lost in WW2.

Each year Kingsley Parish holds two acts of Remembrance. On Armistice Day, (11th November), a service is held at the Wayside Cross in Dovedale Road. On Remembrance Sunday, a service is held in St. Werburgh’s Church.

1918-2018 Commemorations a Year On

Its hard to believe that a whole year has passed since the community came together on 11th November last year to commemorate a hundred years since the guns had fallen silent as the ‘Great War’ came to an end.

Whilst its been a long time coming (plus a hacked website in between) there is now a page dedicated to the days evens along with pictures and some video.

That page can be found HERE

In addition, the download Ebook of All the Kingsley Men is still available via this link and its free

John Salt died 100 years ago today

Despite the war especially on the western front over men were still dying as a result of it and of course the great flu pandemic that was sweeping the world.

John Salt was one man who survived the war but died a week later of influenza.

His story is an interesting one – he appears twice on the 1911 census, having a family in the Potteries and his parents on Kingsley Moor.

He joined up at the start of the war but was demobbed as not likely to make an effective soldier but at a later stage joined the Leicestershire Regiment. After the war, his old unit wrote to his father asking his whereabouts only to be told he had died serving another regiment.

To add confusion his name was recorded as SALIT on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and was only corrected during the last few years.

His story can be found HERE 

We do not as of yet have a picture of him – it would be very fitting if on this the centenary of his death that we could source one.

Remembrance Sunday Events Update

Final arrangements are now in place for Sundays events – we really do hope as many people as possible can make it.

To assist anyone thinking of coming to any of the events here are some key points from each of the three parts of the day.


6am War Memorial Dovedale Road

A Scottish Piper will be playing Battle’s Over’ and other regimental tunes as part of the nationwide Battles Over event.

Hot drinks and biscuits will be freely available to ward off the cold.

Parking – St Werburghs School Car Park and the Village Hall’s car park can be used. Please do not park on Dovedale Road and be mindful of blocking the farm entrance if you park on Church Street. The event will take around 15 to 20 minutes.

10.55am War Memorial Dovedale Road

The traditional Act of Remembrance will take place – please be in place for 10.50am. Again the car parks at the school and the village hall can be used. Be mindful not to block the farm entrance or impede vehicles entering and leaving the farm. Everyone is invited after to the church for a Remembrance service and afterward,s there will be free hot drinks and cake / biscuits.

6.50pm War Memorial Dovedale Road

Just prior to 6.55pm the names of 29 men will be read out followed by the Last Post and 2 minutes silence. At 7pm the beacon sited behind the War Memorial will be lit and five minutes later the bells of St Werburgh’s will ring out as they did 100 years ago. This event is again part of a national tribute under the Battle’s Over banner.

As the bells fade everyone is invited back to the church for hot soup and rolls, hot drinks, biscuits, and cake.

Again the car parks at the school and the village hall can be used. Be mindful not to block the farm entrance or impede vehicles entering and leaving the farm. Please do take care crossing the road as it will be dark and there may be a lot of people about.

At both the morning and evening events, the book All the Kingsley Men will be on sale as well as a small display of the research that went into the book.

We are also delighted to announce that a Roll of Honour has been designed and is now to be framed and hung in the village hall in due course. The roll contains the names of 182 men and a woman who served during the war and had links to the parish. A copy is attached here.



All the Kingsley Men 2nd Edition

Within hours of the launch of the first edition on 23rd April 2017, we had more men and more research to do.

Fast forward some 18 months and the second edition is back from the printers and all ready for the communities Remembrance Commemorations on Sunday 11th November 2018.

This edition brings the total of those included in the book to some 183 including a single female and 29 men who died during the war or after as a result of their service.

The book will be on sale at St Werburgh’s Church Kingsley after the morning service on Sunday 11th November 2018. Cost is £5 which covers the author’s costs to get the book printed. This is a limited edition of just 50 books. At the same time, a free download will be available from the site from 11am on 11th November.

Do contact us via the website should you wish to purchase a book but can’t make the church.

Book Launch event a great success

Sunday 23rd April saw large numbers of the community attending the village hall in Kingsley for the launch of the All the Kingsley Men book which is the final chapter in the project’s timeline.

The village hall was at times quite full and it’s estimated that between 150 and 200 people attended the event.

As before, Martin Clewlow’s display of period weapons, uniform and artefacts gave a tangible link to the past and allowed people to better understand what the servicemen in the war experienced.

The Churnet Valley Living Landscape Project was on hand to record people’s history of the valley and were constantly busy from start to finish.

Almost 175 copies of the book have gone already and a good number are on reserve for donation to libraries, archives and the like, as well as those held for people who were unable to attend.

However, there are still copies to be had and anyone wanting to get a copy can message the project from this website.

As previously stated the books were free but we were suggesting a donation in return, with the money raised going to the Village Hall, St. Werburgh’s Church, Kingsley Holt Chapel and Royal British Legion. We were delighted that at the end of the day donations totalled in excess of £579 with more to come in. A fantastic gesture by all those who contributed having got a copy of the book.

Here are a few more photos of the day and more will be published in the coming days.

Message for Subscribers to the site

As the project draws to a close with tomorrow’s book launch its timely to ask all those who subscribe to the site whether they agree to have their email address’s and names passed to the University of Sheffield as part of the evaluation of the project.

Your details go no further than the University who will send you a short survey to complete with your views and comments on what the project has achieved.

We will be collecting names and emails at tomorrow’s event as well.

If you DO NOT wish for your details to be passed on please contact Martyn at martyn_hordern@hotmail.com so he is aware of your views.

Many thanks for supporting the project – there will be further updates and anniversaries over the next 18 months or so as we near the anniversary of the war’s end.

St. Werburgh’s War Shrine Unveiled One Hundred Years Ago Today

Whilst researching the project a newspaper report was unearthed from 1917. It referred to Mrs Annie Heywood, who was the mother of Robert Myles Heywood who had died in 1015.

The report stated that on 22nd April 1917 a shrine made of oak with two glass bowls incorporated into it had been unveiled at St Werburgh’s Church. It mentioned that it has a crucifix on it.

Mrs Heywood stressed that the shrine was not just to her son but for all the village’s war dead and listed those who had died to that date.  The intention was that those who had lost a loved one in the war could place a slip of paper with their loved one’s name on into one of the bowls.

It was only sometime later in the project that the shrine’s location was realised as being in the porch at the church. Flowers are always on display in it except for lent, the glass bowls have long since gone. Members of the church until this point had no idea of the shrine’s origin.