An inspiration for the generations of children in the near future

In Speenhamland it was felt that there should be two war memorials.

A representative meeting of parishioners was held in the schoolroom on Monday, March 10th, to consider the question of a War Memorial for this Parish. Those present were unanimously of the opinion that some permanent memorial should be raised to the gallant sailors and soldiers from our midst who have laid down their lives for their country. It was felt that the main memorial should be in the Church itself, and that some record should also be placed in the School adjoining, through which so many of the boys had passed, as this would be an inspiration for the generations of children in the near future. Various suggestions were made as to the memorial in the Church, which will be considered in due course, and the following (with power to add to their number) were appointed a Committee to deal with the matter:- the Vicar, the Churchwardens, the Sidesmen, Mr. Herring, Mrs. Day, Miss M. Bunny, Miss Fuller and Miss Wilson. Mr. Corden will act as secretary.

Speenhamland parish magazine, April 1919 (D/P116B/28A/2)

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The symbol of victory

Victor Corden (1860-1939) was a Newbury based artist and teacher of art, who provided the decoration for a war shrine in Speenhamland Church.

Although we have always made a point of remembering our fighting men in various ways at our services, and they are mentioned by name in our war intercessions, yet it must often have seemed to many that there has been something wanting. We hope now that this feeling of a little coldness will be entirely removed through the generosity of a member of the congregation, who has made himself responsible for the erection of a War Shrine. It will be placed between the Vestry Door and the East Wall and will be of quite a simple character. There will be a background of some dark material, in front of which will be placed flags and palm-branches (the symbol of victory), if we can obtain them. In a centre will be a shield containing the names of those who have been killed in action belonging to the parish, and on a table in front of it will be a book with the names of the men from the parish who are engaged in various ways in His Majesty’s Forces. The shrine will supply a felt want, and we trust will be of much comfort to many who have friends fighting or a rest. We hope that it will lead to an increased feeling of devotion. We are much indebted to the generous donor, and to Mr. Victor Corden, who has kindly placed his artistic skill and experiences at our disposal in the matter.

Speenhamland parish magazine, October 1918 (D/P116B/28A/2)