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Memorial details

Memorial type
Cross
District
Mid Bedfordshire
Town
Ampthill
County
Bedfordshire
Country
England
Commemoration
First World War (1914-1918)
Maker
Duke of Bedford (Sponsor)
Cecil G Hare (Architect)
Ceremony
  • Unveiled
    Date: 1919
    Attended by:
Lost
Not lost
WM Reference
1683
Current location

Ampthill Park
Ampthill
Mid Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
MK45 2GU
England

OS Grid Ref: TL 02571 38359
Denomination: Undefined

View location on Google Maps
Description
Latin stone cross on three step octagonal stone plinth with rectangular abutments on each corner. A metal sword is mounted at centre of cross face and cross terminals have carved bosses in the form of stylised roses with stamens. The head of cross shaft is decorated with foliate carving. The plinth has 16 faces to which bronze cast plaques were mounted. The coats of arms of the Duke of Bedford is carved in relief on upper plinth.
Inscription
6 O'Clock Face: TO YOU WHO PASS IN QUEST OF HAPPY HOURS/ BEHOLD THE PRICE AT WHICH THOSE HOURS/ WERE BOUGHT STREW HERE THE FRAGRANCE OF MEMORIAL FLOWERS/ THE SILENT TRIBUTE OF A GRATEFUL THOUGHT IN MEMORY OF/ SEVEN HUNDRED AND SEVEN/ OFFICERS WARRANT OFFICERS/ NON COMMISSIONED OFFICERS/ AND MEN OF THE BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT/ WHO WERE TRAINED AT THE/ AMPTHILL CAMP/ AND WHO FELL FIGHTING IN THE/ GREAT WAR OF 1914-1918/ THIS CROSS IS ERECTED/ BY THEIR FIRST COMMANDING OFFICER/ HERBRAND XI DUKE OF BEDFORD/ GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS/ THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS 9 O'Clock Face: STILL STANDS THIS CROSS FROM THAT DREAD/ HOUR TO THIS/ ERE SOME BRIGHT STAR ABOVE THE DARK ABYSS/ STILL THROUGH THE VEIL THE VICTOR STANDS/ LOOK DOWN TO THE (...) LANDS (?)/ LEST WE FORGET 2237/ OFFICERS AND MEN JOINED OF THEIR OWN FREE/ WILL UNDER VOLUNTARY ENLISTMENT/ NOT A MAN WAS ABSENT FROM PARADE WHEN/ THIS DRAFT MARCHED OUT OF THE CAMP FOR THE FRONT; COMPULSORY MILITARY SERVICE BECAME LAW IN 1916/ AMPTHILL PARK THEN CEASED TO BE A TRAINING/ CAMP FOR VOLUNTEERS AND BECAME A DEPOT AT WHICH/ 8569 MEN RETURNING WOUNDED AND INVALIDED/ FROM THE EXPEDITIONARY FORCES RECEIVED REMIEDIAL/ TREATMENT 3543/ OF THESE MEN RETURNED TO THE FRONT LINE/ 10604 MEN/ PASSED THROUGH THE CAMP BETWEEN NOVEMBER 1914/ AND MARCH 1919/ REMEMBER THE LORD GREAT AND TERRIBLE/ AND FIGHT FOR YOUR BRETHREN YOUR SONS/ YOUR DAUGHTERS YOUR WIVES AND YOUR HOMES 12 O'Clock Face: PROUD YOU GATHERED RANK ON RANK TO WAR/ AS WHO HAD HEARD GOD'S MESSAGE FROM AFAR/ ALL YOU HAD HOPED FOR ALL YOU HAD YOU/ GAVE TO SAVE MANKIND YOURSELVES YOU SCORNED/ TO SAVE "HISTORY OF AMPTHILL CAMP"/ LORD KITCHENER WHEN SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR/ SPEAKING IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS IN SEPTEMBER 1914/ SAID "IF ANY RETIRED OFFICER COMPETENT TO TRAIN/ TROOPS HAS NOT YET APPLIED I HOPE HE WILL/ COMMUNICATE WITH ME AT THE WAR OFFICE/ IN WRITING" THE DUKE OF BEDFORD APPLIED AND CONSTRUCTED IN/ THE SPACE OF 2 MONTHS A HUTTED CAMP IN/ AMPTHILL PARK FOR THE ACCOMODATION OF 1000 MEN/ THIS CAMP WAS KNOWN AS THE BEDFORDSHIRE TRAINING/ DEPOT WHICH UNDER THE DUKE'S COMMAND FORMED A/ UNIT OF THE COUNTY REGIMENT AND SUPPLIED DRAFTS OF/ MEN TO 6 BEDFORDSHIRE BATTALIONS THE/ REGULAR ARMY SERVING IN FRANCE AND ITALY/ THE RECRUITING AREA COMPRISED BEDFORDSHIRE/ HERTFORDSHIRE AND HUNTINGDONSHIRE 3 O'Clock Face: O VALIANT HEARTS WHO TO YOUR GLORY CAME/ THROUGH DUST OF CONFLICT AND THRU BATTLE FLAME/ TRANQUIL YOU LIE, YOUR KNIGHTLY VIRTUE PROVED/ YOUR MEMORY HALLOWED IN THE LAND YOU LOVED/ THE CROSS OVERLOOKS THE HOLLOW/ DOWN WHICH 2235 OFFICERS AND MEN/ PASSED WHEN/ ON COMPLETION OF THEIR TRAINING/ THEY LEFT THE/ CAMP AT AMPTHILL/ TO JOIN THE/ BATTLE LINE IN FRANCE/ THE ROLL OF HONOUR ON THE BASE/ ON THE CROSS SHOWS THE SEVEN HUNDRED AND SEVEN/ WHO WERE DESTINED NEVER TO RETURN/ DEATH (...) 4.30 O'Clock Face: (Names) 7.30 O'Clock Face: (Names)
Inscription legible?
no
Names on memorial
Field, J
Finding, H
Fletcher, T
Foote, W
Forder, A
Fortune, A
Foster, A
Foster, E
Foster, H
Foster, J
See details for all 158 names
Commemorations
  • First World War (1914-1918)
    Total names on memorial: 707
    Served and returned: 0
    Died: 707
    Exact count: yes
    Information shown: surname,rank,additional
    Order of information: surname
Components
  • Cross
    Measurements: height 1500mm, width 850mm
    Materials: Stone - Portland, Stone
  • Plaques
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Bronze
Listing information
  • War Memorial 500m south-west of Alameda Gate
  • 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
2013: Memorial cleaned and replacement plaques fitted. 10 AUG. 2006: GRADE II LISTED C1970: 10 BRONZE PLAQUES WERE STOLEN. ONLY TWO OF THE TWELVE ORIGINAL PLAQUES REMAINING.
Trust fund/Scholarship
No
Purpose: Unknown or N/A
Sponsorship
Private
Reference
  • BEDFORDSHIRE TIMES AND INDEPENDENT February 1919 460 names printed. See also Ampthill and District News, February 1919.
  • War Memorials Trust Bulletin No.61 p.9 Published:War Memorials Trust London description of 2013, including three colour photographs. WMT granted £21,397 towards project cost of £64,934.
  • War Memorials Trust WM2065

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.

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© WMR-1683

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