New home for names of Newbury First World War soldiers
Church memorial relocated to Newbury Town Council
(Picture not going into Fred: saved in Raw 2015 Newbury URC war memorial)
THE names of Newbury's First World War heroes who attended a now closed church are now hanging with pride at a new home.
Newbury United Reformed Church war memorial plaque has been donated to Newbury Town Council following the closure of the church in April, owing to “ageing and overstretched church officers”.
The plaque features 29 names of church goers who died in the First World War, and will be accessible to any relative of those who died, member of the church, or members of the public who wish to view it. The gilded mahogany panel on a mahogany base was designed by local artist William Henry Gore and was unveiled in the church in 1920.
Chairman of the Town Council heritage working group, Anthony Pick, said: “We are sorry that Newbury United Reformed Church has closed. We are proud to have been entrusted with the safe keeping of this fine memorial and its display to the public. I consider it to be a very attractive design of its period as well as a reminder of the sacrifice of Church members. We are very grateful to the United Reformed Church for agreeing to pass it to us.”
Newbury United Reformed Church was formed in 1972 from a union of the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches. The Independents, as they were originally called, trace their Newbury history back to 1662, when local preacher Rev. Benjamin Woodbridge and his followers separated from the Church of England.
Town Council leader, Julian Swift Hook, said: “I'm delighted that we are able to offer a home to this war memorial, particularly at a time when as a community we are commemorating the centenary of the Great War.
“I hope that visitors to the Town Hall will take a moment to enjoy the attractive memorial while also quietly reflecting on the sacrifice of everyone who gave their lives for their country in that terrible conflict.”