Work to restore the St Mary's Memorial began towards the end of August 2012, following a fund-raising appeal launched a year earlier.
The work involved taking down the memorial, rebuilding the base, putting in a new plinth and rebuilding the memorial cross, and was carried out by members of the 73 Engineer Regiment and 575 Squadron Royal Engineers as part of a pilot scheme where Army troops help out with community projects.
'The Buxton Advertiser' of the 9th November 2012 reported that a special service was held to re-dedicate the newly restored War Memorial at St Mary’s Church in Buxton will take place on Sunday afternoon, 11th November. Members of 73 Engineering Regiment, who worked on the restoration, as well as their Regimental Lieutenant Colonel, met at the Memorial for the service at 3.00 p.m. Guests of honour included The Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, the High Peak Mayor and local county councillors.
St MARY the VIRGIN CHURCH, BUXTON:
The Parish of Buxton website describes St Mary's as:
"An 'Arts and Crafts' style church, and "a particularly nice example of this type of architecture". It stands on Dale Road, between the communities of Higher Buxton and Cote Heath". It replaced the "little tin church in Dale Street", built with a bequest of £500 in 1891 by Miss E. Mirilees for the erection of a temporary mission church in Higher Buxton, and the payment of a priest for four years. The latter was completed in 1897, and St Mary's replaced it in 1917."
St Mary's sketch on the right was supplied by Architects P. H. Currey and C. C. Thompson, of Derby, and published in 'The Buxton Advertiser' on the 22nd May 1915.
War Memorials at the Church are found in three forms. Outside the Church stands a Cross Memorial and there are two marble plaques inside, bearing the names of those men of the Parish who gave their lives in both Wars.
[In 1915, however, when the new building was opened, St Mary's was not a separate Parish, but a 'chapel-of-ease to St John's Church.]
In addition there is a screen behind the altar erected by his family to the Memory of Lt. A.F.R. Linaker - see below.
The Linaker Memorial inside the Church is in the form of a two-part Wooden Screen, behind the Altar.
The two sides bear the legends:
IN MEMORY OF ARCHBALD F.G. LINAKER and WHO FELL IN ACTION 9TH SEPT. 1918
LT 2ND LOYAL NORTH LANCS
Lieutenant Archibald Frederick Richard LINAKER was the eldest son of Frederick George (Butcher) and Elizabeth Linaker, of 23 Dale Road, Buxton. 'The Buxton Advertiser' reported that Archibald's death " .. was greatly mourned by the choir of St Mary's Church, with which he had been associated since seven years of age."
The Memorial Plaque inside the Church bears the names of 41 men of the Parish who paid the ultimate sacrifice in The Great War. All the names appear on the Town War Memorial on The Slopes except: Wilfred ARNOLD and John Henry VAREY.
Pt. 81219 John Henry VAREY served with the 49th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps. He died on the 24th April 1920 and is buried in Grave 3344, Buxton Cemetery. He was born in 1898, the son of John Potts and Alice. In 1901 (Census RG 13/3271) and 1911 (Census RG 14/21238) the family was living on Macclesfield Old Road, Burbage, Buxton. His date of death suggests it was too late to be included in the certified list of names for The Slopes Memorial.
The only CWGC Record for 'Wilfrid Arnold' is Pt. 239542 Wilfrid Joseph ARNOLD, 1/1 Herefordshire Regiment, killed in action 23rd July 1918. However, he came from Birmingham and no link to Buxton can be established. Neither is there a Census or Birth Record link.
[N.B. The Service Records for the other 39 men can be accessed via the alphabetical name index at the top of the page.]
World War 1 Plaque - St Mary's Church
Names on the World War 1 Plaque
'The Buxton Advertiser' - 22 May 1915; 6 August 2011; 24 August 2012 and 9 November 2012
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Image Ref.: DCBM001074
The Churchyard Memorial Cross (O.S. Grid Ref.: SK 058 729) is located alongside the Dale Road entrance gate. In August 2011 it was discovered that the structure was in a poor state as apparently it had been moved sometime between 1938 and 1941 and when it was re-sited, no foundations were laid.
However, the photo (right), from the 'Buxton Advertiser', shows the dedicaion of the Memorial in 1919 and would suggest that it (the Memorial) is in the same location as today.
The Bennett Street Memorial Cross:
At then end of the Great War nearby Bennett Street erected a 'street shrine' to honour all of the men from that street who enlisted and served their King and Country and to commemorate the 11 men who did not return home.
In the 1960s the original shrine was becoming so dilapidated that the decision was
made to either remove or replace it. Fortunately, a new Memorial Plaque was erected
and the Cross from the first memorial was removed and now lodges in The Lady
The Bennett Street Memorial Cross is currently mounted above the First Word War Memorial plaque.
Below this is a corresponding World War 2 Plaque which bears no names and simply reads:
IN MEMORY OF THE MEN AND WOMEN
OF THIS DISTRICT WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES
IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR 1939 - 45
'The Buxton Advertiser' of the 6th August 2011 reported the launch of an appeal to restore the Memorial, which by then had become unsafe. The photograph below right shows it was still in poor condition a year later.
The Cross has no inscribed names, bearing a simple dedication, as below.