The year 2012 marks the 90th anniversary of remembrance on the High Street, the Memorial having been unveiled on Wednesday 26 July 1922 by Lt Gen Sir Henry Beauvoir de Lisle KCB KCMG DSO (GOC-in-C The Western Command).
The Memorial was erected by Cleggs of Chester (Masons) and it is believed to have been designed by Douglas Minshull (Architect). It comprises a red sandstone Celtic cross on a plinth with a three-stepped base and it is approximately 5 metres high. There is decoration on the arms of the cross and the shaft is mainly recessed with a border around the edge and an upward-pointing sword as relief features. Below the sword is an inscription. The stone for the Memorial was quarried from the local Peckforton quarry. The Memorial is surrounded on three sides by a retaining wall. There is a low post and chain fence and a gravelled area in front of the Memorial.
The plinth has bronze plaques set into the front and the side, both of which have oxydised. On the two original bronze plaques are names of no less than 39 young men, honoured from both wars.
Five additional names were added to the Memorial in 2005 and these are placed on newer plaques which are positioned immediately below the originals (3 casualties relate to The Great War and 2 casualties relate to WWII) – see plaque images below.
There are yet further casualties who had been identified during the research associated with the construction of this Website and who are not recorded on the Tattenhall War Memorial. The names of these victims will be presented to the Parish Council in due course.
In recent years the War Memorial started leaning to the right because of movement of the substrate. There were also signs of movement to the wall at the rear of the Memorial. A geotechnical assessment revealed that the Memorial had actually been erected on very loose soil and peat, unsuitable for supporting such a monument. This, together with a diverted stream and the planting of trees on either side of the Memorial, had resulted in the ground drying out. It was recommended, therefore, that the walls, steps and paving be dismantled, a new foundation be constructed, loose sand and peat be removed and that the walls, steps and paving be rebuilt.
A Heritage Lottery Grant enabled this conservation and repair work to be undertaken and a ‘Re-dedication Ceremony’ took place on Sunday 10 October 2004.
Click on the images below to view the inscriptions and names of those listed on the Tattenhall War Memorial:
A further point of interest is that St Alban’s Churchyard contains 3 Commonwealth War Graves (M Boylan is remembered on both the War Memorial and in the Churchyard).
If a war casualty died in the UK, then families had the option of having a Commission headstone or not. Some families declined this offer as they had already commemorated their relative on a privately-owned memorial/headstone. However, some families welcomed the option of having a Commonwealth War Graves Commission Portland stone headstone – the Commission did not charge for this. Local Authority permission would have been required for this to take place.
The following article relating to the conservation of the War Memorial, appeared in The Chester Chronicle, dated 8 April 2004 …
A fitting tribute for our heroes
WAR heroes will be remembered in their glory once again as work begins on repairs to a village memorial.
Subsidence has resulted in serious structural damage to Tattenhall’s war memorial but councillors have finally secured the £36,000 required for its restoration.
Names of 39 people killed in the two world wars appear on the monument, several of whom still have living relatives in the area.
Tattenhall resident Alan Bosley’s* uncle Horace Weedon is one of those named.
He said: ‘I’m delighted it’s being restored to its original glory and I’m proud that money’s being set by to restore it. I think at least 50% who are remembered there still have Tattenhall connections.’
Horace was killed in North Africa in May 1943, the year Alan was born.
‘He was from Tattenhall. My grandparents’ graves are in Tattenhall churchyard in St Alban’s and Horace has an inscription on that grave.’
The memorial has been a part of Alan’s life for as long as he can remember.
‘When I was younger, I was in the scouts and we would do the bugle parade at the war memorial,’ he said. ‘I do remember my mother always being upset on Armistice day. In my more adult thinking years I don’t think I’ve missed many ceremonies, for my mum really – it’s been a thing I’ve always wanted to do.’
Alan has been surprised at the increasing interest in Remembrance Day ceremonies.
‘It is amazing, the attendance of the Armistice service has increased over the last five or 10 years dramatically. I think the wars that have happened have sort of stirred people into thinking perhaps it was worth the effort of these young people who risked their lives in another country.
‘The last service was tremendous – the whole traffic was stopped and this was without a band and with few people who were actually active as they are mainly gone now,’ he said.
George Morgan**, 61, of Millbrook Park, regularly visits the memorial to pay homage to his father, also George Morgan.
‘I never saw my father actually,’ he said. ‘He was killed in 1942 – he was in the Atlantic fleet on HMS Trinidad.’
The only time he has ever missed Tattenhall’s memorial service was the year he went to the Royal Albert Hall.
‘I’m very pleased it’s being restored and that it will remain in its original position,’ he said. ‘It’s a very prominent landmark in the village and personally I’ve always considered that as my father’s grave. I’ve carried on his name and my granddaughter Georgina is doing the same.
‘I’m just delighted that we are going to tidy and straighten the memorial up. I think it’s very important for the village and for the population generally – they fought for our freedom didn’t they?’
* Tattenhall resident Alan Bosley died on 12 July 2009 (reference to Alan’s uncle ‘Horace’ can be viewed under ‘Casualties WWII’)
** Tattenhall resident George Morgan has also died since the publication of this article (reference to George’s father ‘George’ can also be viewed under ‘Casualties WWII’)