Epsom church calls meeting amid rolls of honour controversy

This Is Local London: A roll of honour listing WWI war dead currently stored in an archives A roll of honour listing WWI war dead currently stored in an archives

The church at the centre of a row over the display of military rolls of honour has invited people to a meeting over how to remember the war dead.

St Barnabas, in Temple Road, Epsom, has announced the meeting after a local historian and the relatives of a dead soldier called for the reinstatement of two scrolls stored at Surrey History Centre for nearly 20 years.

Reverend Sue Bull, speaking on behalf of the church, said: "I would like to say how much the church welcomes the debate about the scroll of honour and is delighted to see the level of interest in the issue.

"Remembering the fallen has always been important to our church and of course it is particularly topical now as we prepare as a nation to remember the anniversary of the beginning of the Great War.

"With this in mind we would like to invite anyone interested to an open meeting in the New Year to discuss together how we may best remember those who gave their lives for this community, and those whose lives were marred by physical or mental illness because of the conflict.

"This will of course include discussion about the scroll."

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Sergeant William John Maynard, one of those named on a scroll

Clive Gilbert, a local historian who discovered the scrolls in the history centre’s archives, has been leading the call for their restoration, said: "At least they are talking about it so that is good. I will only be pleased if the rolls of honour are reinstated in some way or other."

Helen Lawrence, 81, from Watersedge, West Ewell, is the granddaughter of Sergeant William John Maynard who is named on the roll of honour dedicated to dead from the Great War.

Mrs Lawrence said: "I would go to the meeting when the time comes. But you shouldn’t have to have a meeting, it should be put back.

"I think it’s disgusting. It is coming up to 100 years next year and the scrolls should be put back."

Her grandfather Sgt Maynard got married at Christ Church in Epsom Common and was killed at Ypres in WWI.

The artist behind the Great War roll of honour: Phyllis Chipperfield

A beautifully decorated roll of honour were created by artist Phyllis Chipperfield.

Miss Chipperfield, born in 1887 the daughter of a doctor, grew up in Oxfordshire before the family moved to south London at the turn of the 20th century.

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The first evidence of her talent as a painter comes from records of her exhibiting two watercolours paintings at the Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition in 1911.

It is not known why she was commissioned to produce the Great War remembrance scroll for St Barnabas Church, but she went on to produce a number of other watercolours before her untimely death aged 50. 

She is buried with her parents in Epsom Cemetery.

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For more information on Miss Chipperfield click here 


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