Search

War memorial to form part of church display

06:45 03 July 2014

St Marys Church in Ditchingham which houses a unique First World War memorial sculpted by Francis Derwent Wood.

Picture: James Bass

St Marys Church in Ditchingham which houses a unique First World War memorial sculpted by Francis Derwent Wood. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

A war memorial crafted by a leading British sculptor will form the centrepiece of a south Norfolk open church event.

St Marys Church in Ditchingham which houses a unique First World War memorial sculpted by Francis Derwent Wood.

Picture: James BassSt Marys Church in Ditchingham which houses a unique First World War memorial sculpted by Francis Derwent Wood. Picture: James Bass

A bronze effigy of a tall English soldier being carried to burial was produced by Sir Francis Derwent Wood after The Great War ended and was placed in St Mary’s Church in Ditchingham, near Bungay.

The monument, which has been a big attraction in the village for more than 90 years, is just one of a handful that Mr Derwent Wood made and will feature in a week-long special display at the church at the end of the month.

The sculpture, which is attached to marble, portrays a soldier lying with his hands half closed by his sides, with his coat open and his collar turned up. His face depicts a manner of calm and above him, inscribed in the marble, are the names of some of the men and women from the village who went to war.

The piece was paid for by William Carr, of Ditchingham Hall, Sir Henry Rider Haggard and Dr J.F. Bright, as well as relatives of the fallen. It was unveiled on September 27, 1920.

Sir Francis Derwent Wood was too old to enlist in the army during the First World War, so he volunteered in the hospital wards.

When he witnessed the horrific injuries sustained by the troops, it spurred him on to open the Masks for Facial Disfigurement Department at the Third London General Hospital, in Wandsworth. After the war ended he was commissioned to produce a series of sculptures to be placed around the country commemorating our men at war, which includes the monument in St Mary’s Church.

Liz Button who is on the church council said: “People come specifically to see it.

“We are researching the names on it and several of the families still seem to be about.

“I would love to know how they came into contact with Sir Francis. It may be that he wasn’t as well known then as he is now. We always do something for open churches and this year we decided to have a First World War theme. We have got something that most churches haven’t, so we thought we would celebrate that.”

During open churches week, from July 31 to August 3, there will also be a chance to look at photographs from the Great War. Then, on August 4, a service of reflection and remembrance will take place to mark 100 years since the start of the war.

Do you have any unusual memorials to mark The Great War? Email louisa.lay@archant.co.uk

Other news

Yesterday, 12:30

A 39-year-old man has been charged with affray after he entered a Beccles bar brandishing a chainsaw.

Yesterday, 11:30

The annual Loddon pantomime has become a fixture in the town’s calendar over the past 40 years, a much looked forward to entertainment to brighten the cold dark nights of January as each New Year gets under way.

Yesterday, 10:33

Suffolk County Council is looking for two young people to co-host an awards ceremony shining a light on those who have gone the extra mile to improve education in the county.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

For 17-year-old Jay Daniels, holding a steering wheel in his hands as he drives around a race track is a “dream come true”.

Most Read

Saturday, January 21, 2017

At first glance Charlotte James Photography and Events in Beccles may look like the standard shop of its type.

Read more
Friday, November 11, 2016

A pilot who was seriously injured when his plane crashed, is now at home with his family following surgery at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

Read more
Maurice Hammond
Yesterday, 12:30

A 39-year-old man has been charged with affray after he entered a Beccles bar brandishing a chainsaw.

Read more
Lowestoft
Sunday, January 22, 2017

For 17-year-old Jay Daniels, holding a steering wheel in his hands as he drives around a race track is a “dream come true”.

Read more
Sir John Leman High School
Monday, October 3, 2016

The pilot who crashed in a Second World War plane is unconscious in hospital, his family today said.

Read more
Maurice Hammond

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 2°C

min temp: 2°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Beccles and Bungay Journal e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up