ARCHIVE : ACTION #7
Archive: a collection of records of a place
Action: the process of doing something
In July, we asked if we could borrow, scan, photo or copy, any photographs, documents or artefacts that would represent Geddington’s history over the centuries.
Our aim is to create an online archive of our village.
Our weekly article covers the seventh and last category before the Archive Exhibition, which is:
THE WAR MEMORIAL
The Armistice of Compiègne between the Allies and Germany was signed and went into effect at 11am on Monday 11th November 1918. “On hearing the news, Geddington’s church bells were rung and a service of thanksgiving was held that evening,” although it wasn’t until 28th June 1919 that the official Peace Treaty was signed. Geddington celebrated with a Peace Day on 25 July: 240 children were treated to tea and the soldiers were entertained to a meat tea. “However, the sports and other amusements had to be postponed due to the weather, but these were eventually held in August in a field loaned by Mr York A Hopkins.”
During the coming months, an elected committee of 10, met to discuss the possibility of a memorial monument. “The following January in 1920, a public meeting was called, with the Revd Benjamin Turton presiding, to discuss the final report. It recommended that a monument should be erected in the churchyard to those who had fallen, and a tablet should be placed in the church bearing all the 170 names of the men who had answered the call of their country. This proposal was unanimously adopted.”
In March 1920, another public meeting met to inspect the plans for the Cross and Memorial Tablet: the meeting unanimously passed the committee’s recommendation.
On 24 June 1921, work commenced on the erection of the memorial, and Thursday 28th July saw the unveiling and a dedication service of the Cross, a tablet to the memory of the choir boys who laid down their lives and a memorial window to the honour of the late Harry Arthur Patrick. The unveiling was performed by Major Wetherall of Northampton and the dedication by the vicar, Revd Turton. A very large crowd of villagers and their children, ex-servicemen, nursing sisters, relatives of the fallen, various religious denominations of the village and visitors from the surrounding district attended. After the service and dedication, relatives of the fallen placed so many wreaths around the base and steps of the Cross, that the simple inscription on the panel was hidden:
1914 – 1918 In undying memory of the men of Geddington
who gave their lives for us.
Many of the excerpts have been taken from the book ‘Geddington A Village at War’, edited and compiled by Melvyn Hopkins. It is a very comprehensive diary of events from 1914 to 1921.
Why not come along and meet Melvyn at the Exhibition on 1st November, where he can answer (some of) your queries and explain others?
If you have any information, documents or pictures relating to any normal day-to-day living in the village during the past few decades (or earlier, if you have them) we would like to hear from you or why not bring them to the Exhibition, where we have a team of experts who will scan, copy or photograph them?
The Exhibition on Saturday 1st November is not the end of our Archive Project, but just the start of what we hope will be an ongoing project over the next few years. With more material and research we’ll be bringing many more fascinating facts to light.