War Memorial protected from the elements
A couple of years ago Gill Poole (of the West Bergholt Local History Group) approached the Parish Council. She raised concerns that the tiled war memorial, dedicated to the brewery workers who served in WW1, was becoming weather damaged.
Originally installed inside the Truman Building, the Essex Chronicle reported the original unveiling on 10th September, 1920 as follows:
Fine War Record
A handsome memorial tablet to the employees of Messrs. Daniell and Sons Breweries Ltd., who served in the war was unveiled at West Bergholt Brewery on Monday afternoon in the presence of a large gathering. No less than sixty-six names are inscribed on the tablet out of a total of about one hundred employees who rallied round the colours when the call came, practically every available man of military age and fitness going into the Forces. Fortunately, most of the men returned; nine gave their lives and several others were badly wounded.
The tablet is erected on the wall just inside the main gates of the brewery. Mr. W. Gurney Benham, Chairman of the company, presided, and Mr. T. B. Daniell, a former chairman, unveiled the tablet, which in addition to the names recorded bears the following inscription:-
“TO THE HONOUR OF THE MEN FROM DANIELL AND SONS’ BREWERIES, WEST BERGHOLT AND COLCHESTER, WHO SERVED IN THE BRITISH FORCES IN THE GREAT EUROPEAN WAR 1914 – 1919.
‘AND THEIRS WERE DEEDS THAT SHALL NOT PASS AWAY, AND NAMES THAT MUST NOT WITHER.’ ”
Developers moved the tiled memorial outside onto the side of a peaceful walled garden when they transformed the site from brewery to housing. The tiles then started to deteriorate having never originally been intended for outside display.
So the Parish Council had the idea to cover the memorial with a weatherproof clear display cabinet. The project, which was led by Parish Cllr Brian Butcher, has taken 18 months to come to fruition and was only possible with a contribution & permission from Boydens Estate Agents, who are the management agents of the site. The cover and installation costs came to a total of £2,064.65 with a generous donation from Boydens (Colchester) of £500, £75 from G & O Investments (freeholders) and with the Parish Council paying the remaining sum.
The weatherproof oak cover looks great and is a poignant memorial to the workers of the Brewery who served in the First World War, in this commemorative year.
Pictured at the unveiling are:
- Cllr Chris Stevenson – Chairman, West Bergholt Parish Council,
- Cllr Murray Harlow – Communications, WBPC,
- Cllr John Gili-Ross – Vice Chairman, Essex Association of Local Councils (EALC) & Environment Chairman, WBPC,
- Gill Poole – West Bergholt Local History Group,
- David Boyden – Managing Partner (Boydens),
- Alex Kane – Senior Property Manager (Boydens).
Picture courtesy of Tony Morris.
Also reported in Gazette News.