VISCOUNT ALLENBY UNVEILS AN IPSWICH MEMORIAL.
Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper 1921.
The Lord Bishop of Suffolk and Field Marshal Viscount Allenby, G.C.B., figured in the great congregation which assembled at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich, on Sunday afternoon, when the former dedicated the memorial chapel situate in the north chancel, which it is hoped will be an ever-increasing source of inspiration and blessing to all who have suffered through the war, and the famous soldier unveiled the tablet inscribed with the seventy cherished names of brave men of St. Matthew’s who fell. This fitting memorial has involved an expenditure of just over a thousand pounds, voluntarily subscribed in the parish, and has beautified for service the interior of the edifice. Unquestionably a great improvement, the site of the old choir vestry and organ has been adapted, the organ now being installed in the south aisle. Furnished out in English oak, the lofty reredos is adorned with a very handsome canopy, and an imposing feature is the triptych, carried out in royal blue and Sarum red, with the crucifix observed in the centre panel. Beneath the triptych is the text, “Greater love hath no man than this.” The frontal is of beautiful design in silk, gold and Sarum red being employed. The roll of honour, conspicuous on the pillar entrance to the chapel, is of black and white enamel, surmounted with gold ribbon and a carved laurel wreath. It is the hope to complete the design by the addition of two screens to the one one just erected, so enclosing the chapel. Mr. Buckingham Bird has carried out the work to the design of Mr. Gerald Cogswell, Bedford Square.
The following ornaments for the chapel have been given:- Brass candlesticks by Mr. W.H.Payne and Mr. G.A.Morley; vases, Miss Gislingham; alms dish and fair linen cloth, Rev. J.Edgell; fair linen cloth, Mrs. Welbourn, Miss South Phillips; fair linen cloth for credence table, Miss Steel; altar book rest, Mr. Daniels; altar book, Sunday School scholars: book-markers, Miss Swan. Also a beautiful piece of hand-made lace for the frontal, started by the late Mrs. Benham, and finished and given by her daughters in her memory; kneeler, Mrs. Reynolds and friends; cruets, Mr. and Mrs. Low. The committee responsible for the arrangement of the scheme had Messrs. W.H.Payne and G.A.Morley acting in a secretarial capacity.
The service was most impressive. Immediately facing the new chapel all the pews were filled with relatives of fallen soldiers, representing the 11th Brigade R.F.A., and the Territorial units – 4th Suffolks and R.F.A Mr. F.J.C.Ganzoni. M.P., was also observed. The Rev. C.A.Barnes, rector, conducted the service, the lesson being read by the Rev.C.E.Revan, B.D., who has been the “missioner” for St. Matthew’s. Prior to the Lord Bishop mounting the pulpit, the choir gave a beautiful unaccompanied rendering of Barnby’s “Crossing the Bar,” under the direction of Mr. W.A.Rose, A.R.C.O.
THE CLAIM OF REMEMBRANCE
“In remembrance of Me” was the text His Lordship commanded. “The men for whom honour we meet today,” said the Bishop, “asked no reward of remembrance. They made no claim when they gave their lives that their memories should be preserved. Our dead are content, now where they dwell, to know that they saved England. And yet in their hearts before they died there must, I think, have been a desire to live in the memories of friends.” We could imagine, continued His Lordship one or another of them saying, “I am but a unit among millions, a tiny particle of the Great War machine. When it is all over there will be so much to remember, it will be natural enough if, engrossed in all the greater memories, they forget me. But I should like to be remembered.” Added His Lordship: “I dare say that when our time comes some such desire will be in our heart and in mine.” It was a very human emotion of our Lord the night before He died when He too wondered would His friends remember Him? Would they bear in memory His words, His stories, His acts of love, even His commands–and forget Him! So He said to them, “This is in remembrance of Me.” Here was an answer made to Him long ago, and continuously renewed. While churches stood, to shelter and enshrine our acts of remembrance. He should never be forgotten. That day, they of that church were making the same answer to their friends. And they made it in the same form. They had chosen for the expression of their remembrance an altar. They said, “These men made the sacrifice of love.” The power that impelled them to lay down their lives was one with the power that brought God down from Heaven. Therefore, by an altar would they remember the.
Unveiling the memorial Field Marshall Viscount Allenby, G.C.B.,observed that he had been entrusted with the high and most honourable privilege of unveiling that memorial to some of their fellow citizens, who gave their lives in the highest cause for which a man could live or die. They, with hundreds and thousands of others, responded to their country’s call, and they, with hundreds and thousands of their comrades, gladly gave their lives for their country’s ransom. That monument was one with many others scattered throughout the Empire, forming a great, vast, national memorial from the snows of the North to the snows of the South, and engirdling the world until East touched West, one vast imperial memorial whereby we did not vaunt our victory over the enemy, but enshrined the memory of those who bought that victory for us. Those whose names were there recorded, gave every thing they had. “The question arises: Has it cost too much?” The answer to that question lies with us who survive. Let us maintain the principles for which our dear heroes have died, let us pursue the ideas of justice, of truth, of humanity, let us strive, let us succeed in making a better community and a better world, and, if we succeed, then it will not have cost too much. Victory will have been worth the price paid, and these dear and loyal hearts will not have ceased to beat without gaining the reward for which they strove.
Then the Bishop dedicated the new chapel: To the glory of God and in thankful memory of the men of this parish who went to the great war and there laid down their lives for our more abundant life. We dedicate this altar, to be an abiding memorial of their sacrifice in Christ our Saviour and our Lord.
“For all the Saints” was sung, and the Bishop, having pronounced the Benediction, the “Last Post” was sounded, the “Réveillé” rang out, and the congregation rose to join in the National Anthem. Before the worshippers passed out, many beautiful flowers were placed before the altar.
W. WRIGHT ( WALTER WHITMORE WRIGHT/ WILLIAM WALTER WRIGHT )
St. Matthew’s Church website link
Roll of honour to all who served from the church