The Bedford Park Memorial Seat

Bedford Park Memorial Seat

A design for the Memorial Seat was first published in the Parish magazine in October 1917, and approved at a public meeting in the Parish Hall in the same month.

“It must be understood that the Memorial is to be a public Memorial, in a public place, irrespective of all party or creed. … The position suggested is at the angle of the Bath and Woodstock roads, would be given to the public.  This is perhaps the most prominent site in the Parish from the fact of its being a stopping place for the motor omnibus, and for this reason the seat that forms part of the Memorial will serve a useful purpose.  Freedom of public access is an essential attribute, and the hand of a mischievous boy must be guarded against by making use of a material that will resist his pencil or knife.”

The original scheme, designed by Mr. Inigo Triggs (whose mother lived within the Parish), consisted of a central block of unpolished granite, with a semicircular seat.  The central section was to have a sword, wreath and palm carved in low relief, surmounted by a leaden cinerary urn, partly gilt, and with a gilt flame issuing from the lid.  The committee appointed at the public meeting to oversee the project and authorise the final design clearly considered the hand of the mischievous boy further with considerable prescience.  The funerary urn was the principal casualty of the committee’s work.  The seat was installed in due course after the War’s end.  The original bronze nameplates were unfortunately stolen in the 1960s, and replaced with engraved stone replacements when the seat was moved to its present position to the West of the Parish Hall gates.  Thus, several of the names were re-engraved incorrectly, causing some difficulty in identifying them in the course of the Centenary project.

All the names are of those of the Fallen whose families (and in a few cases friends) lived or had lived within the Bedford Park estate, and submitted them to a list compiled at the Bedford Park Club.

They are:

Dudley Cecil ALDIN
Cyril F AUSTIN
Rowland Hurst BOURNE
Alfred H COATSWORTH
L Drummond COLLINS
Oliphant DOWN
Arthur Edward FOSTER
George FULTON
Conrad Michael GIBSON
Arthur Rowlett GILL
John Henry GRAYSON
Kenneth HALLWARD
Archibald HOLLAND
Kenneth KEMP
Arthur Greenwell LAX
Noel Oliff LEE
Norman LITTLE
Harold LONGHURST
Derek LUTYENS
Reginald Walter MCKWELL
Maxwell MALLALUE
Clive Guise MOORES
Peter NASH
Lionel F C NEILL
Frank NEWINGTON
George Constantine PAUL
Rolly PIFFARD
Ivor R POGOSE
Hubert Arthur POPE
Albert ROBINSON
Wilfred ROWE
G Philip ROWLANDSON
Charles William SCHWABON
Henry Robert SCHWABON
Carlos STEVENSON
C Cecil Brooks WARD
Arthur Brian WHITE
C Edgar A WILSON
C Ernest BROOKS
Hubert C deZ COLLIER
Maurice CLIFT
Laurence T WILSON
Joseph George WOOLF
Richard F C YORKE