Park Street Baptist Church has erected a noble memorial to its sons who fell in the war, and in all the long history of this, the oldest Nonconformist church in the town, it has never known anything quite like the event of Wednesday evening when the monument was unveiled and dedicated.
Standing a long distance back from the road - a relic of those early days of the church when worshippers had to gather surreptitiously in out-of-the-way barns and cottages - the Baptist edifice in Park Street is little seen by the casual passer-by, but now if he chances to glance through the iron gates and along the avenue of trees leading to the church he will see at the top a fine stone archway spanning the pathway - the Church's memorial.
Designed by Messrs Franklin and Deacon and executed by Low Giddings - both firms of this town - the arch is built of Portland stone in the classic style of a Greek gateway. The pedestal supporting the main entablature have carved Ionic capitals at the top and raised panels of polished Hopton Wood stone [marble-like Derbyshire limestone] on each face with richly carved laurel leaves in the upper portion. The inscriptions and names are cut in and leaded on the lower portions.
On either side of the interior of the gateway is a semi-circular niche and these, together with the blocks at the foot of each of the panels, are intended for floral tributes. On the frieze at either side are the dates 1914-1919 in Roman numerals, and on the slightly sloping pediments the words "Our Glorious Dead" are carved in relief.
In addition to the names of the 35 men from the church who gave their lives, the arch bears the following inscription: "Dedicated with inexpressible love to the imperishable memory of the brave sons of this church and congregation.
Unveiled July 14th, 1920.
"Now the warrior's task is oe'r,
Now the battle day is past,
Now upon the farther shore
Lands the voyager at last;
Father, in thy gracious keeping
Leave we now our loved ones sleeping."
The names of the fallen on the memorial are as follows:
C. T. Barnard
C. W. Reginald Looker
Ernest G. Chamberlain
Robert C. Morsley
Frederick H. Smith
Percy E. Clark
Ernest B. Angel
A. E. Bertram Burgess
Frederick W. Dickens
Albert T. Smith
A. Haddon Hill
Charles H. Carrington
Arthur S. N. Long
The dedication service was conducted by the Pastor (the Rev G. Roberts Hern) before a large assembly of people, including ex-servicemen. The Rev Colonel Frederick Humphrey D.S.O., a former minister of Park Street, gave an address.