ST LAURENCE CHURCH WWI MEMORIAL

The original St Laurence (or St Lawrence) Church stood in Catford Road, opposite the Town Hall which it pre-dated. The church was demolished in 1968 and the site was then sold to Lewisham Council. In 1967/68 a new church was constructed and consecrated at 37 Bromley Road.

 

A Lost Memorial?

Plans for a memorial were well underway in early 1919 when a Petition was raised to “erect an oak screen and cross at the west end of the Morning Chapel in memory of those fallen in the war, in the Parish of St Laurence”. By April 1919 a drawing of the War Memorial Screen had been produced by W. D. Caroe and Partners, 3 Great College St, Westminster, London SW1.

Relatives of those killed were submitting names for inclusion and subscriptions were being collected from members of the congregation. In August a provisional list of 45 names was posted and a request was made for relatives to check the details and notify the Church of any corrections. Those wishing for further names to be added were urged to do so forthwith.

The memorial was dedicated on the evening of Tuesday 21st June 1921.

The current whereabouts of the Memorial Screen is unknown. It does not appear to have been re-located in the new church in Bromley Road. Although I have yet to research it fully, there are no obvious records held at either the Lewisham Archives or the London Metropolitan Archives, (the official repositories of St Laurence and the Diocese of Southwark respectively). The memorial has not been catalogued by the UK National Inventory of War Memorials.

So far it has not been found possible to provide a definitive list of the names on the screen. From photographic evidence (see above) there appears to be a total of 75 or 76 names. In reporting the dedication, the 24th June issue of the Catford Journal reports 77 names. The bundle of papers in the Lewisham Archives, (Catalogue No. A65/14/B3/30 [1919]), contains only one list approximating to this number, but it is untitled and undated. The Roll of Honour that I have produced has been based on this list. Another scrap of paper contains a list of 18 names, but the notes on it are contradictory. It may be that there was a paper or parchment Roll that contained more names than the screen, as those that I have been able to identify were also killed during the war and had local connections. The names from this list have been added as a supplement.

I intend to continue my search for both the definitive list of names and the fate of the screen itself. If anyone has further information, including photographs, please feel free to contact me.

 

 

 

This photograph of the interior of St Laurence Church shows the screen designed by the architectural practice of W. D. Caroe & Partners. It contains the names of the Fallen on six inscribed panels. Five of the panels each contain thirteen names and on the sixth there are ten or eleven names.

My thanks to the Vicar & Churchwardens, St Laurence, Catford for allowing me to reproduce this photograph. Also to Stuart Cole, fellow member of the Great War Forum, for pointing it out to me.    

© Philip Evans 2012

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