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Keswick (including Roedean School WW2 Evacuees, and the Verdun Oak Tree)

WM reference
2206
Memorial type
Lost
No
Town
County
District
Subject/Period
Creator
Ceremony
  • Unveiled : 21st May 1922
  • Dedicated : 21st May 1922
  • Unveiled : 9th Nov 1947
  • Planted : 24 Sep 1921
Current location

County Square
Keswick
Allerdale
Cumbria
CA12 4NB
England
OS Grid Ref.: NY 26815 23492
Denomination: Undefined

Description

Step surmounted by broad pedestal and cenotaph with pedimented top. Large honister slate tablet commemorating WW1 dead placed on the front face of the pedestal and two smaller tablets commemorating WW2 dead placed on the left and right hand sides. Relief of Victory in classical costume with sword on the front face of the cenotaph. During 2016, as part of post Storm Desmond reconstruction work (December 2015), new cast iron railings have been added to the rear of the cenotaph area.

Inscription

6 OCLOCK FACE: TO KEEP FRESH THE MEMORY/ OF OUR BRAVE MEN WHO FELL/ IN THE GREAT WARS/ (NAMES) 3 AND 9 OCLOCK FACE: 1939 - 1945/ (NAMES) Railings-1914 1919 1939 1945 COCKERMOUTH, KESWICK AND DENITH RAILWAY COMPANY IN PROUD HONOURED MEMORY OF THE EMPLOYEES OF THE COMPANY WHO GAVE THEIR NAMES FOR KING AND COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918. "To keep fresh the memory of our brave men who fell in the Great Wars"

Inscription legible?

Yes

Names on memorial

Abbott, A
Aitchison, Je
Atkinson, T V
Bateson, G
Bertram, R
Birkbeck, C W
Birkett, J
Birkett, S
Blamire, G
Blamire, J
See details for all 160 names

Subject/Period

First World War (1914-1918)
Total names on memorial: 109
Served and returned: 0
Died: 109
Exact count: yes
Information shown: surname, initials of forenames
Order of information: surname alphabetical order

Subject/Period

Second World War (1939-1945)
Total names on memorial: 51
Served and returned: 0
Died: 51
Exact count: yes
Information shown: surname and initials of forenames
Order of information: surname

Component

First World War memorial
Condition: Good
Measurements: depth 25mm, height 900mm, width 1470mm
Materials: Slate
Listed?: No

Component

Fence/ Railing
Condition: Good
Measurements: depth 40mm, height 890mmm, width 10900mm
Materials: Cast Iron
Listed?: No

Component

Tree
Condition: Lost
Measurements: Undefined
Materials: Wood - Oak
Listed?: No

Component

Second World War memorial
Condition: Good
Measurements: depth 30mm, height 700mm, width 590mm
Materials: Slate
Listed?: No

Component

Steps
Condition: Good
Measurements: depth 1130mm, height 200mm, width 2410mm
Materials: Granite
Listed?: No

Component

Base
Condition: Good
Measurements: depth 1450mm, height 30mm, width 2950mm
Materials: Granite
Listed?: No

Component

Pedestal
Condition: Good
Measurements: depth 1025mm, height 950mm, width 2190mm
Materials: Granite
Listed?: No

Component

Plinth
Condition: Good
Measurements: depth 970mm, height 2850mm, width 1320mm
Materials: Granite
Listed?: No

Component

Tablet
Condition: Good
Measurements: depth 15mm, height 200mm, width 790mm
Materials: Slate
Listed?: No

Component

Tablet
Condition: Good
Measurements: depth 15mm, height 200mm, width 440mm
Materials: Slate
Listed?: No

Ceremony

Unveiled
Date: 21st May 1922
Attended by: Lord Rochdale & Mr Walter Swinburn

Ceremony

Dedicated
Date: 21st May 1922
Attended by: Revd CH Lewin, Vicar of St John's Church

Ceremony

Unveiled
Date: 9th Nov 1947
Attended by: Mr FJ Aston (WW1 soldier) & Mr Edwin Evans (2nd son of Sergt Walter Evans) of the Blencathra Hotel, Keswick

Ceremony

Planted
Date: 24 Sep 1921
Attended by: Viscount Ullswater

Costs

Site: Unknown or N/A
Memorial: c£2,500
Comments: The WW2 plaques were by public subscription, through the Keswick War Service Appreciation Fund-one of the purposes of this fund which raised money in 1944-1945.

Trust fund/Scholarship

No
Purpose: Unknown or N/A

Sponsorship

Public
Details: All the money was raised by public subscription. The appeal for the original estimated £4,000 cost was launched in June 1919. In the first week alone £950 was raised. There are weekly updates in the local newspaper 'The Keswick Reminder' detailing every contribution small and large. During the summer contributions dried up and the scheme was shelved in November 1919 (formerly in January 1920) when £1890/2/- had been raised. This scheme included provision for the education and maintenance of the circa 30 children of the town left fatherless, throughout their childhood, a grand carnival on the lake including flares from the local mountain, Skiddaw, a peace medal for each child of the town, and a grand homecoming meal for returning soldiers, sailors and airmen. The carnival and the peace medal were abandoned. The peace meal was fundraised for separately and held on 12 Feb 1920 at a cost of around £165. The occassion included a 'Smoking Concert'. The memorial scheme itself cost around £2,500 and was not restarted until October 1921 (part of the cause of the delay was that the sculptor became involved in other work after the 1919/1920 postponement. The educational scheme invested money for each war orphan with the interest to be used to aid the instruction of the children. Grants were to be made from the Capital either for each child to attend a Secondary School or to be apprenticed or for any other purpose that will further its educational interests. The trusteees represented the town, the Council and the schools.

Responsibility of

Unknown or N/A

Notes

Lord Rochdale owned the large house 'Lingholm' at nearby Portinscale which was a VAD Hospital in WW1. Lord and Lady Rochdale were very active in the life of the Keswick area, and great philanthropists to the town. There was also an Oak [or Chestnut] Tree planted in Upper Fitz Park- supplied by Kew Gardens grown from seeds from an oak tree at Verdun (sent to Kew by the Mayor of Verdun in 1916). It was planted on 24th September 1921 by Viscount Ullswater. There was a dedicatory plate placed next to it. This tree has not existed for many years now, at least since 1997 according to the records of the town's Britain in Bloom committee of that year. It was on an open space near the croquet lawn. The figure of Victory, crowning a sheathed sword with a laurel wreath in memory of the dead, was carved in high relief. This was the work of Derwent Wood (1871-19th February 1926). He was born at Eskin Place, Castlerigg, St John’s, Keswick, the fourth son of Alpheus Bayliss Wood of Philadelphia, USA, pencil mill manager, and Ann Mary Maw of Ironbridge, Shropshire. He was educated in Switzerland and Germany and began his artistic career at Karlsruhe, Germany. He enlisted in the Territorial Unit of the Royal Army Medical Corps soon after the the onset of World War One, and was given a commission a year later. His artistic genius was later utilised and he opened a special clinic, the Masks for Facial Development Disfigurement Department (1917-1919) located in the Third London General Hospital, Wandsworth, London. Each mask required many weeks of work. He constructed masks of thin metal, sculpted to match the portraits of the man in their pre-war normality. He also designed the Machine Gun Corps memorial at Hyde Park Corner (memorial 2129) There were originally 49 WW2 names, so two must have been added at a later date. Note that at the Keswick Country House Hotel (part of Keswick Old Railway Station) there is a school shield and a photograph of the whole school at the Hotel in 1940. While not war memorials as such they are worthy of note, as the whole school was evacuated to this hotel in 1940, and spent the rest of the war here. Both items were donated by the school on a 50th anniversary reunion in 1990. In the late 1920's there was considerable acrimony in the town (the opposition being led by the Royal British Legion and the ex-servicemen's association) over plans to open up access to the Cenotaph from Fitz Park. The construction of the new railings and a sensory garden (which will be planted throughout 2017) finally brings to an end that matter, as it has fully integrated the Cenotaph into Fitz Park, and has ultimately achieved the wishes of the townspeople, yet still retained the "sacredness of space" which was so important to the RBL.

Reference

Carter Postcard Collection

Reference

Many editions of 'The Keswick Reminder' newspaper between 6 June 1919 and 19 May 1922- the newspaper is indexed from 1915 to 1923, which is available on the Cumbria Archives website.

Reference

Planting of the tree- West Cumberland Times 17th August 1921 page 4 (refers to it as Oak) and the Keswick Reminder 16th September 1921 page 4 (refers to it as a Chestnut)

Reference

West Cumberland Times 24/5/1922 page 1f-h for clarification on the education scheme

Reference

West Cumberland Times 12/11/1947 page 4e

Reference

Carlisle Journal 16/8/1921 page 5c for the exact location of the Verdun Tree

Reference

Whitehaven News 25/2/1926 page 7b for an obituary of Derwent Wood RA

Reference

Roedean School Photograph at Keswick-http://2ndww.blogspot.co.uk/2007/12/roedean-school-at-keswick-war-years.html

Reference

Roedean School Shield at Keswick-http://2ndww.blogspot.co.uk/2007/12/roedean-school-shield-keswick-cumbria.html

Reference

Keswick Reminder 4/2/1949 page 3c for the death of Wilfrid G Haworth FRSA (1886-1949), a professional photographer who served in that capacity in WW1, was badly gassed and lay in no-mans land for over 12 hours. He became well klnown especially for his Lake District Photography

Reference

Book-Keswick in the Great War by Ruth Mansergh (published Pen & Sword, 2016)

Reference

'The Keswick Reminder' newspaper is indexed from 1 Sep 1939 to 31 Dec 1955 and will be available on the Cumbria Archives website from late February 2017

Reference

https://blackcablondon.net/2013/10/13/ww1-100-londons-memorials-the-machine-gun-corps-the-man-who-mended-faces/ (for more on Francis Derwent Wood)

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