The memorial comprises a handsome white Sicilian polished marble tablet with a curved top, measuring 3ft. 6in. by 2ft. 10in., the inscription, which is done in black painted letters cut into the stone.
The Melton Mowbray Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1888 on the corner of Sherrard Street and Sage Cross Street following an earlier building on Goodriche Street.
The Primitive Methodist Chapel was entered via an impressive flight of steps; a Sunday School occupied the lower level.
The chapel was demolished in 1975, to be replaced by Melton’s first supermarket; ‘Sally Morelands’, upon which the War Memorial was moved into the Sage Cross Methodist Church.
OS Grid Reference
SK 75489 19249
Sage Cross Methodist Church Sage Cross Street Melton Mowbray LE13 1RB
17th July 1921
First World War (1914 – 1918)
Dedicated to the Glory of God and to the undying memory of our beloved fellow members who counting not their lives dear unto them gave their all in defence of their homeland in the Great War, 1914-1918. [Names] “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.” Mal. 3c, 17v.
Grantham Journal Saturday July 23, 1921 Page 10
MELTON PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHURCH WAR MEMORIAL. UNVEILING CEREMONY.
On Sunday afternoon, in the presence of a large congregation, including many of the near relatives and friends, the War Memorial which has been placed in the Primitive Methodist Church Melton Mowbray, for those members it who lost their lives in the Great War, was unveiled, the ceremony being performed the Rev. Wm. Christie, who was the circuit minister during portion of the war period. The memorial comprises a handsome white Sicilian polished marble tablet, measuring 3ft. 6in. by 2ft. 10in., the inscription, which is done in black painted letters cut into the stone, being follows:- “Dedicated to the Glory of God. and the undying memory of our beloved fellow-members, who, counting not their lives dear unto them, gave all in defence of their Homeland the Great War, 1914-1918. W. Auger. G. H. Baguley, E. Brown, J. T. Bursnall, B. Chamberlain. J. T. Glover, A. Gilson, A. Snodin, E. White, T. Alderman, E. Brotherhood, P. V. Bareham, W. Corbridge, B. G. Ewen, P. C. Glover, F. A. Reek, R. Southerington, C. B. White, F. White. “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.’ Mai. 3c, 17v.”
The tablet, which the work of Mr. Thos. Drake, Sage Cross-street, is of quite ornate design, and has been placed in the vestibule of the chapel, and through the open doors is quite conspicuous from the street. The service on Sunday afternoon was a very appropriate and impressive character, and was conducted by the Rev. A. Allcock, the present circuit minister, who offered the prayer and read the lesson. The hymns were, “O God, our help ages past,” “For all the Saints,” and “Stand up, stand up for Jesus,” and the choir rendered the anthem, “Hush, for Amid our Tears,” while the organ voluntaries, played by Mr. H. Barratt, A.L.C.M., included Chopin’s “Funeral March,” and “O Rest in the Lord.”
The Rev. W. Christie said they were met that afternoon to do honour the memory the lads who went forth from that Church at the call of King and country, and the call their own conscience, to do their duty, to suffer, and, if needs be, to die, that we might remain the people we are, and that we might become the people we hoped to be. It was a joy to him, and a great honour, when received the invitation to come and take part in that service, and there was nothing this Church had done during his connection with it that had given him greater satisfaction than the fact they had pre-pared a memorial which would be a continual remembrance that men belonging to that fellowship fought, and bled, and died for them. One had heard some deprecating remarks about memorials, but he thought there was a growing consciousness that they could not have too many testimonials and memorials – they ought to every corner in every town and village, and Church and Chapel, in the land, to be reminders to them and to their children that the liberty they possessed was secured for them at tremendous cost. Memory was forgetful her treasures, and there were people to-day who had forgotten already that there had been a war, and
Their Present Security and Welfare
had only come to them by the death of almost a million men from this land. No nation could prosper that forgot its debtors, and to do that was to forget their most precious possession. It was good for them, then, and for their children, that these memorials should brought to their notice from time to time, and there ought to be an anniversary for an occasion such as this, “Lest we forget.” They met that afternoon with mingled feelings. They could not help the sorrow surging from their heart at the memory of these young men, who passed through their schools, took their places in their Church, their choirs, their Christian Endeavours, and in the organised life of the Church, that they were with them no more. They could not help but weep with those that wept on account of their bereavement, and no one could look upon that congregation, remembering the mothers and fathers who were there, with heart unmoved, and perhaps the very presence the lads who went and back again taking up the offering that afternoon made it all the more moving and impressive because the absence those who loved the Church and were connected with her fellowship. Yet, while they were moved with sorrow, they were filled with pride, for they could not but be proud of the men who endured hardness good soldiers Jesus Christ, who placed themselves between us and worse than death. Before they could realise perhaps what this meant for them who were there that day, dwelling in a land of peace and comparative prosperity, they had to try and think what might have been. The forces of evil, or call them whatever they liked, had marshalled all their hosts to overrule not only England and her Allies, but humanity, and strip it of all her hard-won gains. It almost seemed if this was the last throw of the devil to capture the human race for his kingdom. Every diabolical agency, which could set at work to root out of the heart of man mercy and justice and charity was set in motion, and
Had it Not Been far the Sacrifice
of those whom they were mourning that afternoon, and their compatriots, they would to-day have been going through the experience that happened to thousands of our people by land and sea. They had had a revelation during the past week in the Court of Inquiry what had been, and what might have been to-day England. They had been refreshed with some of the horrors that took place during those terrible five years, the starving and baiting of prisoners, firing helpless drowning men and women at sea, neglect of the sick from typhoid and other diseases, and the thousand and one horrors too terrible to mention. These were the things that had stained the pages of history, and it was from these things that their holy dead had saved them, and they were there that day to be reminded of them, “Lest we forget.” God forbid that they should stir up any hate, or perpetuate any animosities between themselves and their enemies. The spirit that created the war, and brought to pass all the awful conditions that prevailed during those five years was not made in Germany. It luxuriated there, and that spirit found a ready sympathy complete support in that land. It was being recognised as never before that the spirit of war was a universal spirit; it was to be found everywhere, wherever man’s hand was raised against his brother man, wherever there was injustice or oppression, wherever men forgot the golden rule, and failed to love his neighbour as himself, there the spirit of war was abroad. To our own shame, and the shame of humanity, it was impossible place the foot any square inch of soil where that spirit was not to be found. The spirit of war was not yet dead. The spirit that made the war was still rampant in every land, the spirit of materialism was the father selfishness, and selfishness the father of war. Previous to the war, life was secularised, and human life was cheap. God was a puny God, puny God meant a puny man. Life, according to the Germanic idea, was only cannon-fodder, and that was because man had a false conception of God. Although the war over, and we had comparative peace, he thought would all agree they
Had Still to Win the Peace.
The condition of Ireland up to lately, of India, and of Egypt, only speaking within our own Empire, to say nothing of Russia, or Turkey, showed that peace had not yet come man. They had still to win the peace within their own borders, for when they remembered the industrial war of the last few months, there was yet much land to be possessed. They had a hard road to travel. Peace was as difficult to win as war, and every man who was living falsely was hindering the peace, and helping the war spirit. Every man who was not true to his conscience, true to the sense of right, was trampling under foot the blood of their holy dead, and crucifying once more those who gave themselves for them. They thanked God for the League of Nations, for the hope of reduction of armaments, and were glad of any treaties combinations that would help to keep the peace, but they were conscious that it was no use if the human heart remained the same. The American Senator was right when said, “Europe’s greatest need is a new heart.” When had got a new heart, England would land fit for heroes. It seemed to him blasphemy to sing the praises those who had died and mockery to raise their testimonials and put up their memorials, and go living on in the same old way. There were men who admired Jesus Christ, but who never thought of obeying Him; men who would sing His praises but refused to take up His Cross and follow Him. And there were men who would shed tears over their stricken heroes, who would never raise one little finger to help forward the work of peace. There was not peace without sacrifice. There was only one way by which they could win peace, and that was reform.
Reforming of the Individual.
They could not reform State unless they reformed the individual, and the first reform must that of self. All reform must begin with the individual before they could deal with the State. Their bodies and souls had been redeemed, not with corruptible things such silver and gold, but redeemed by precious blood. What were they going to with them? There came a call that day, as there came a call to their men and boys in the war, “Whom shall send”? and their boys rose up and said, “Here am I. send me,” God was waiting on their answer that afternoon. There came a call to them individually and collectively as Churches associate themselves with all men and women who were striving to bring about the brotherhood of man. It was their business to support every man, whatever be his name, colour, or creed, if he was working for peace, and it was their business to oppose everywhere and in every department of life, the spirit that made for war. Then there came to them the call of God, that they should love mercy, do justly, and walk humbly with Him, and the best memorial they could offer their boys that day was the decision that they would live nobly, be willing to sacrifice even as they sacrificed, and see to it that having suffered and died, they had not died in vain.
After the concluding hymn, the congregation passed out of the Church, and grouped the steps and the street fronting the vestibule for the unveiling ceremony. The tablet was covered by a Union Jack, and under was number of beautiful floral tributes from the relatives of those whose names were inscribed upon it. The Rev. W. Christie before drawing aside the flag, said they were unveiling this memorial for the lads who went forth from this town and Church at the call of King and country. They desired that a record might kept, so that their children’s children might remember that they tasted death for every man. that “they were wounded for our transgressions, they were bruised for our iniquities, the testimony our peace is upon them, and by their stripes we are healed. They held them everlasting remembrance, and they gave God thanks for the men who had been spared and were in their company that day. The rev. gentleman then unveiled the tablet, following which, the “Last Post” and “Reveille” sounded by Messrs, Brewin, Handley, and Mackley, and the Benediction concluded a memorable service.
In the evening, when the chapel was crowded, a special memorial service was held, conducted by the Rev. W. Christie, who preached an appropriate sermon. The choir sang the anthems, “God’s Angels,” and “Crossing the Bar,” and Mrs. Coy sang with much feeling the solo, “O Rest the Lord.” Suitable voluntaries were also played by the organist. Mr. Barratt. The collections at each of the services, for the Memorial were taken by ex-Service men belonging the Church, and amounted to over £8.
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