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  • Use this image under non-commercial licence

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Memorial details

Memorial type
Sculptured / Cast group
District
Oldham
Town
Oldham
County
Greater Manchester
Country
England
Commemoration
First World War (1914-1918), Second World War (1939-1945)
Maker
ALBERT TOFT, MR THOMAS TAYLOR
Ceremony
  • Unveiled
    Date: 28 April 1923
    Attended by: General Sir Ian Hamilton GCB GCMG DSO
  • Dedicated
    Date: 28 April 1923
    Attended by: Bishop of Manchester
Lost
Not lost
WM Reference
10
Current location

On the edge of Greaves Arms Car Park.
St Mary's Church
Ashton Arms
Oldham
Oldham
Greater Manchester
OL1 3AT
England

OS Grid Ref: SD 92727 05068
Denomination: Church of England

View location on Google Maps
Description
A pyramidal group of soldiers in trench scene surmounting square plinth with panelled doors. Dedication and names are inscribed in relief on bronze plaques mounted on the churchyard wall. There is a recess in the plinth with a glass front, containing a mechanical Roll of Honour. It is reported that the inside chamber originally contained a roll of honour of the fallen and space for praying.
Inscription
DEATH IS THE GATE OF LIFE/ 1914-1918/ TO GOD BE THE PRAISE/ 1939-1945/ THESE TABLETS WERE ERECTED BY THE CITIZENS OF OLDHAM AS A LASTING MEMORIAL TO THEIR FELLOW TOWNSMEN WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR ANNO DOMINI 1914-1918/ (Names)
Inscription legible?
yes
Commemorations
  • First World War (1914-1918)
    Total names on memorial: 2688
    Served and returned: 0
    Died: 2688
    Exact count: yes
    Information shown: Surname, forename, decorations.
    Order of information: Surname.
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
    Total names on memorial: 200
    Served and returned: 0
    Died: 200
    Exact count: yes
    Information shown: Surname, forename, decorations.
    Order of information: Surname.
Components
  • Sculpture
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Bronze
  • Plinth
    Measurements: depth 2590mm, height 3048mm, width 3048mm
    Materials: Granite - Polished
  • Door
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Bronze
  • Wall
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Stone
  • Plaques
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Bronze
Listing information
  • Oldham War Memorial, including memorial wall, piers, gates and steps to St Mary’s churchyard and forecourt walls, steps and balustrade (south side), and railings to St Mary's Churchyard (west side).
  • Grade II*
  • This memorial is protected, and listed on the National Heritage List for England maintained by Historic England. View list entry
  • More about listing and the protection of historic places can be found on the Historic England website
  • Historic England
Condition
History
An application for this war memorial was received through the Grants for War Memorials scheme in 2012. The main concerns were regarding the condition of the bronze and the memorial book. Due to the high costs of this project, having been quoted at £73,640 for the eligible elements, and the availability of funds at the time, a grant of £30,000 was offered. This was in excess of the maximum offer of £20,000 which was then available through this scheme and was in recognition of the soon to be increased maximum. The works to the World War II mechanised memorial book were not eligible for funding as only one quote had been received for this element. The main element of the works was the cleaning and repatination of the bronze sculpture and plaques. This had historically been inappropriately cleaned and a type of bronze coloured lacquer applied which had subsequently started to break down allowing water to become trapped underneath causing the bronze to deteriorate. The first stage of the project was to try and establish an appropriate method for removing the lacquer. It was determined that the use of a Dichloromethan paint stripper and steam cleaning was the most affective and least invasive way for this. It was evident prior to removing this lacquer that there were areas of corrosion and salt deposits on the bronze. However, only by removing the failing finish was it possible to fully evaluate the condition of the bronze. On inspection it was evident that the bronze had been damaged by the previous inappropriate treatment with pitting and a rough finish to the bronze having been caused by aggressive cleaning. There were also areas of corrosion which needed to be addressed before the memorial could be treated. As such a combination of steam cleaning and Jos cleaning was required to appropriately remove deposits on the surface of the bronze to allow treatment. The treatment of the bronze sculpture included the filling of holes and pits in the bronze using a combination of bronze mesh, bronze loaded resin and coloured wax. The sculpture was also repatinated using potassium sulphide before a protective layer of microcrystalline wax was applied. The memorial plaques had to be removed from the wall to allow repairs to the wall and to take a mould of the plaques which will allow their reproduction should this ever become necessary. The plaques were also cleaned, repatinated, the fixings were upgraded and some elements which had been lost were remade before being reinstalled on the church boundary wall. The granite plinth of the war memorial was in good condition and only received a light clean and works to ensure it is weather tight as water had previously been entering the structure which had resulted in damage to the World War II memorial book; c1950s: The memorial originally had two sets of bronze doors. One of these sets was removed to create a recess for the placement of a mechanised Roll of Honour for WW2.
Costs

Comments: The project cost for the memorial was £93,816. 97. In 2012 the Memorial needed to be refurbished. In 2011 the Local Authority of Oldham pledged £50,000. This combined with the War Memorials Trust's financial contribution of £30,000 in 2012 was used to refurbish the memorial.
Memorial: £93,816.97

Trust fund/Scholarship
No
Purpose: The drive to create a World War I memorial in Oldham began shortly after the end of the war with a target to raise £20,000. This was intended to provide financing for both the war memorial and scholarships for children who had lost their father with any money left over going to the Oldham Royal Infirmary.
Sponsorship
Public
Responsibility
Oldham Council
Reference

This record comprises all information held by IWM’s War Memorials Register for this memorial. Where we hold a names list for the memorial, this information will be displayed on the memorial record. Please check back as we are adding more names to the database.

This information is made available under a Creative Commons BY-NC licence.

This means you may reuse it for non-commercial purposes only and must attribute it to us using the following statement:

© WMR-10

For queries, please contact memorials@iwm.org.uk.