Epsom's St Barnabas Church to create memorial and bring back replica rolls of honour

Church to create memorial and bring back replica rolls of honour

Church to create memorial and bring back replica rolls of honour

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Replica rolls of honour commemorating a church's war dead are set to be reinstated, more than 15 years after the originals were removed.

St Barnabas Church, in Temple Road, Epsom, wants to create a stone plaque reading "For the Fallen" and to establish a memorial case at the church containing information and copies of the rolls commemorating those who died in action in both World Wars.

In November, the Epsom Guardian revealed the original rolls of honour were removed and deposited at archives in the Surrey History Centre, in Woking, in the 1990s, by the church's previous vicar, Reverend Michael Preston.

The names of 55 men, from WWI, are listed on one of the rolls and the other lists the dead from the Second World War.

Earlier this year, the church held two public meetings discussing the subject, although no decision to display the rolls was reached.

But Reverend Sue Bull, of the church, said it is now applying to the diocese for permission to have a plaque outside the church and a memorial case with copies of the rolls inside it.

She said: "We hope to receive faculty permission sometime in August and have a special service and an unveiling of the plaque on November 2 at 10.15am."

The church is also holding an exhibition on the Great War during August to mark the centenary of its outbreak.

Clive Gilbert, a researcher at Epsom and Ewell Local and Family History Centre, started calls for the return of the rolls of honour after discovering them at the Woking archives.

Mr Gilbert said: "Personally I would have just put the scrolls back but as long as these guys are remembered in some suitable way, I guess that’s ok.

"If it happens and it does get through, that will be good and we will have something there for future historians.

"St Barnabas won’t have written itself out of the Great War."

Mr Gilbert said that in 2012 one of the centre's researchers visited the church and was told it had never had a war memorial there.

He added: "To my mind taking those down and just depositing them was re-writing history because they weren’t here.

"I don’t like to see history re-written, it’s wrong. If it can be restored in some way, that’s good."

The exhibition at the church will be held on Saturday, August 2, from 10am to 4pm, and Sunday, August 3, from 12pm to 5pm.

For more information call 01372 721518 or email stbarnabasepsomoffice@gmail.com

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