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BURBAGE, BUXTON:

Around the time when most of the Great War soldiers were born, c. 1890, "Burbage-on-the-Wye" was a separate parish, having been formed from Hartington Upper Quarter in 1869. 

The Parish church of Christ Church, was built in 1861, and extended 30 years later. The population of the village in 1881 was 1,420, rising to 1,917 ten years later. It had fallen back to 1,316 in 1891, but by the turn of the Century (1901 Census) it had risen again to 1,503, with just 30 more in 1911.

Many of the young men of Burbage who went off to War worked in the limestone quarrying and coal mining industries, and were said to be: ".. of the non-conformist persuasion ..", a factor which was to become relevant in the eventual choice of type of Memorial and its location, i.e. whether to be based in or around the Church of Christ, or somewhere else entirely.


Sources:
The Parish Church of Christ Church, Burbage
'Peace Day' celebrations were held on the 19th July 1919 and "The Buxton Advertiser' published that day was beginning to reflect the anger and discontent of the people of Burbage over the lack of progress.

The paper reported that another Public Meeting, in the Parish Rooms, had been called for Monday evening (21st July), when it was to be proposed that the Memorial would be: " a stone obelisk in a central position in the village, containing the names of those who have fallen, and thus memorialise for all time to future generations the great sacrifice made by their ancestors.

The stone is to be supplied by the Hopton Wood Stone Company, and altogether the cost is estimated at about 200."




'The Buxton Advertiser' of the 25th September 1920, however, was still raising questions about the progress of any Memorial at Burbage:

"The unveiling of the magnificent memorial on The Slopes at Buxton last Saturday has awakened in the minds of several Burbage people the almost dormant question as to what has become of the Burbage scheme. It is a long day since the first meeting was held, and subsequently resolve to erect an obelisk of Derbyshire stone opposite the public hall.

Again, how is the Recreation Ground proposal progressing, the site for which was generously offered by His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, in answer to the petition of residents?"

It would appear that things progressed after this, however, as the December Parish Magazine reported that an unveiling ceremony took place on the 6th November 1920. Sadly, however, the Recreation Ground proposal came to nothing and all of the problems outlined by William Edge (above) have come to pass. The Memorial is constantly dirty from passing traffic and Remembrance Day Service have to be conducted in the middle of road.

The first suggestion that Burbage should have its own Memorial seems to be in a sermon preached by the Vicar of Burbage  at a series of Memorial Services to the village's fallen, held in the Parish Church on Sunday, 29th December 1918 (reported in 'The Buxton Advertiser' of the 4th January 1919).

The Rev. J. Hewetson said "in the course of an eloquent sermon" that ".. he hoped someone would suggest a permanent memorial either in the Church or somewhere near, which might be looked upon by future generations as a reminder of the self-sacrifice and sterling character of those of this day and generation who had given their all for the cause of righteousness."

The Burbage Roll of Honour was read at each Service held that day.

Nothing official appears to have happened until a meeting of Burbage residents was called on Friday, 2nd May 1919 (though no doubt there had been much local discussion). The meeting, held in the Parish Room was ".. for the purpose of discussing the question of a suitable memorial for the many gallant lads who have given their lies in the great cause of liberty."

'The Buxton Advertiser' (3rd May 1919) reported at some length as there was a good attendance and Mr T.H. Lothian, J.P., was elected Chairman. It was "regretted that Mr Hubbersty was not present" - this was Henry Alfred Hubbersty who was the Director of Buxton Lime Firms Ltd. and lived with his wife and 6 servants at Burbage Hall, Buxton. He sent a letter by way of his apologies because of illness, but assured the meeting " you may rely on my doing all I can to support the erection of a suitable memorial ". His letter went on: "Had I been present I would have suggested a stone monument - of Derbyshire stone for choice, so many of them being quarrymen - placed in a prominent position close to the church, chapel or school ". He also enclosed " a drawing, showing a very elegant, but perhaps too expensive an obelisk, as an idea."

Mr Hubbersty's letter concluded by offering his wife's apologies for not attending the meeting, but that she too favoured the idea of an obelisk " or perhaps a lych-gate."

To his credit, and despite the obvious pressure from the local 'gentry', the Chairman maintained that it was a Parish meeting and therefore non-sectarian, and the views of the local residents should be sought. Having said that, however, he suggested that the Vicar address them! It seems that from this very first meeting the idea of an obelisk took root.


Ultimately there would be three areas in Burbage where the War dead were to be commemorated:

1.  After much discussion, the "BURBAGE WAR MEMORIAL" was erected in the form of an obelisk made of local stone.

2.  Inside "CHRIST CHURCH, BURBAGE" can be found a stained glass window and a white polished marble plaque.

3.  "BURBAGE CHURCHYARD" contains a number of War Graves of men of the village who died 'at home'.

Views were not slow in coming either. The letter (left) published in the following week's 'Advertiser' [10th May] pointed out that as well as passing a vote for the obelisk proposal, a second vote (not reported the previous week) "... in favour of a park - in addition to the monument - was passed most enthusiastically." This writer too makes the point that most of Burbage's fallen were non-Conformists and that an internal memorial IN the church was a matter for regular worshippers only.

The following week brought a much longer letter from William Edge, of Modena House, Burbage, ('The Buxton Advertiser' 17th May 1919) whose opinion probably bore more weight as three of his sons had fought in the Great War in France and Italy. [Pt. 65647 Louis Edge - Notts & Derbys. Regt.; Pt. 137965 William D. Edge, Machine Gun Corps. and John W. Edge (Regiment not known)]

A very well though out suggestion from Mr Edge raised concerns of children playing in the "busy traffic at the road junction" (!!) and suggested the compromise of placing the obelisk memorial at the centre or in the middle of the park "... where the names of our fallen boys would always be clear and readable." He maintained that if placed opposite the church entrance - which it was - "... the names would very often be buried owing to the clouds of dust caused by present day motor traffic ..." - which they are.

The meeting then discussed the Memorial obelisk and the Chairman proposed that it be formally adopted; seconded and passed, with the opinion that the site proposed by the Borough Council - i.e. its current location, was the best that could be found. "The obelisk would be in Hopton Wood stone, 12 ft. 9 ins.  [3.89 m.] high, with step 5 ft. by 5 ft. [1.52 m.], and four centre panels to receive inscription; cost 180 delivered and fixed complete, lettering extra. Letters cut and filled with lead, 4s. 6d. [22 p] per dozen. Extra cost for four bronze panels with raised letters, approximately 200." [Eventually the Committee must have opted for the cheaper lettering option.]

By the 8th November 1919, however, 'The Buxton Advertiser' reported that it had been finally decided that the proponents of the obelisk had held sway and a "monument" was to be erected near the Public Hall. It read: "Fifty-two heroes laid down their lives in the Great War from Burbage parish. Their names are to be placed on the monument. Relatives and friends are requested to carefully scrutinise the names given below, and if any errors are noticed the Vicar (Rev. J. Hewetson, M.A.) should be informed as soon as possible:-" The names were then listed. From this list 7 more names were subsequently added, whilst 5 were removed.


Clearly, though, the local residents were not in favour as " between three and
four hundred residents of Burbage parish have signed the following petition:- "

The published petition is shown on the right, but it is evident that the locals were
overwhelmingly in favour of the scheme to build a park or recreation ground as a
fitting memorial to the fallen.

By the 27th September, yet another Parish Meeting discussed the Recreation
Ground proposal, but stated that there was a problem with finding a suitable
site, and "... in the meantime that need not delay putting up the memorial ...
on the most prominent place that could be found."


                                           
                                1939 - 45     
       
   Sgt. J.P. BELFIELD            Chief P.O. A. T. LAMB
   Gnr. L. BENNETT                Chief Eng. C. MUSGROVE M.N.
   C.S.M. J. BENNETT            Sq/Ldr. L. H. W. PARKIN DFC
   L/C. B. BRINDLEY               Cpl. N. WEBBE
   Sgt. J. EDGE                        F.O. R. T. WOODCRAFT
   Sapper J. GORDON        



       

The Burbage War Memorial:

As detailed above, after much discussion, the Memorial, in the form of an obelisk, was formally unveiled on the 6th November 1920. It is located at the junction of Macclesfield Old & New Roads, in Burbage, Buxton.

The NIWM [National Inventory of War Memorials] describes it as: "A limestone obelisk on a pedestal, plinth and a two-stepped base. The obelisk is plain and the battered pedestal has a moulded top and recessed panels on each face bearing the inlaid inscription in upright capital block lettering.

The plinth has vertical faces and a moulded top and bears the WW2 supplement on the 6 o'clock face, also inlaid in upright capital block lettering. The whole is surrounded by wrought iron railings and handgate painted black." and we know from earlier 'Buxton Advertiser' descriptions that it is made "... in Hopton Wood stone, 12 ft. 9 ins. [3.89 m.] high, with step 5 ft. by 5 ft. [1.52 m.], and four centre panels to receive inscription... "

Even though the organising Committee for the building of the Memorial identified: "Fifty-two heroes [who] laid down their lives in the Great War from Burbage parish.", the three faces of the obelisk contain the names of just 48, after the list was modified by the Burbage families.

The names and inscriptions are shown below, and as can be seen the Memorial is in need of some considerable renovation. If cleaned it would, for a while, at least, resemble the gleaming white limestone monument originally unveiled in 1920.

 

TO
THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL
MEMORY OF THE MEN OF BURBAGE
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR KING
AND COUNTRY IN THE GREAT
WORLD WAR, AUG. 4TH 1914
TO JUNE 28TH 1919

"O VALIANT HEARTS
WHO TO YOUR GLORY CAME
THROUGH DUST OF CONFLICT
AND THROUGH BATTLE PLAIN,
TRANQUIL YOU LIE
YOUR KNIGHTLY VIRTUE PROVED,
YOUR MEMORY HALLOWED
IN THE LAND YOU LOVED."


A. BAGSHAWE
G.E. BELFIELD
H. BESWICK
E. BENNETT
G. BENNETT
S.G. BENNETT
W.T. BENNETT
J.H. BOARDMAN
W. BRINDLEY
A.G. BROWN
H. BURGESS
H. DITCHFIELD
J. DRABBLE
H.D. EVISON
F. FINDLOW
W. FOWLES


E. GIBBONS
E. GOODWIN
F. GOODWIN
H. GOODWIN
T.O.F. GOODWIN
W. GOODWIN
G. HALLOWS
J.W. HEATHCOTE
R.E. KNIGHT
H.S. LAWSON
J.D. MACBEAN
P. MELLOR
H. MILLWARD
J. MILLWARD
G. MITCHELL
W. MORTON


A. MOSS
C.K. NADEN
S. NORTON
D. OSMOND
J. PILKINGTON
G. POOLE
W.S. ROBERTS
C. SLACK
M. SWEATMORE
T.H. TIDESWELL
H. THOMPSON
F. THORPE
G. WARRINGTON
H. WILTON
M. WILTON
P. WOOD
J. A. YOUNG

All the names of the above appear on the Town War Memorial, The Slopes, Buxton, as do the names of the World War 2 casualties added to the Memorial after that War - see below.

The Service Records and family histories of the Great War men can be accessed using the letter index groups at the top of the page. For brief CWGC details of the World War 2 men - click the names in the box below right. [Those not highlighted could not be found.]
Christ Church, Burbage:

Inside Burbage Parish Church, can be found two more Great War Memorials:

(1) A stained glass window with figure of the Virgin Mary and St. John the Evangelist at the foot of the cross. The window was dedicated by the Rev. Lionel Stamper on the 8th November 1925.

The window can be found in The Lady Chapel, on the south side of the Nave. It bears the following inscription, at the foot of the window (i.e. behind the Cross and flowers in the photo on the right):

 
(2) Also in The Lady Chapel, is a white stone (marble?) wall plaque, lettered in black, bearing the same names as are found on The Obelisk Memorial outside, with the addition of H.O. BAGSHAW and H. HOY.

Their were omitted from the Memorial outside the Church and they were not among the names on the "official" list printed in 'The Buxton Advertiser' of the 8th November 1918. The Plaque inside was unveiled later, which allowed "H. O. Bagshaw", who died in 1921 to be added.

Although Harold Hoy was born in Burbage, by 1911 his family had moved to West Road, Buxton (Census RG 14/21243). However, there is no C.W.G.C. Record for "H. O. Bagshaw". [see Footnote below] who had also moved away.

As the photograph (right) shows, at the foot of the plaque is inscribed:

"Make them be numbered with thy Saints
in a glory everlasting"

Burbage Churchyard:

This churchyard is the only one in the parish still to have an open Churchyard.
This means that residents of Burbage have the right to be buried in the graveyard,
should they so wish.

Five Great War casualties are buried in Burbage Churchyard and a further two
from the Second World War. From World War 1, Pt. Charles Bennett,
Pt. William Thomas Bennett, L/Cpl Arthur Moss and Spr. John Henry Thorpe
are all commemorated with CWGC headstones, whilst Pt. John Duncan Macbean
lies in a family grave.

In addition Lt. Jerry Knowles Garnett is commemorated by an inscription on his
parents' headstone.

 


World War 2 Graves of 2/Lt. J. E. Charlier and Spr. J. Golden
Footnote:

          Henry enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps and his Regimental No was 49995. He was posted to France on the 25th July 1915.
          He died in the December quarter 1921 - too late for inclusion in CWGC records, which had a cut-off date of 31 August 1921, or for the
          Burbage Obelisk Memorial, but was included on the Memorial Plaque inside the Church.
N.B. The Service details of the highlighted men can be accessed by clicking their respective names above.

However, Pt. Charles Bennett and Spr. John Henry Thorpe both died after the list of names for The Slopes Memorial and the Burbage Memorial were finalised, and so are not commemorated on either of these Memorials. Charles Bennett, however, is named on the Memorial Plaque inside Burbage Church, which was erected later.


The Second World War burials are 2/Lt. John Evelyn Charlier and Spr. John Golden and are not currently commemorated on this site. [Click on their highlighted names to read details from the CWGC site.] Photos of their graves are shown on the right.