As Armistice Day approaches and the media is overwhelmed with memories of the end of the First World War exactly 100 years ago, I thought I’d write a bit about Walton’s own War Memorial.
The Walton Parochial Church Council arranged in early 1918 for a stained glass window and a tablet in All Saints Church to be the town’s memorial. This was made and installed soon after the end of the war. However widespread feeling in the town was that any memorial should be placed where everyone, regardless of religious denomination, could appreciate it.
It was decided that the whole town should be canvassed and this letter was distributed in June/July of 1918
A public meeting was arranged in 1920 and ideas discussed.
The original idea of the memorial being within the church was confirmed.
But, there was opposition to the scheme, as some felt that it had been manipulated by the Anglican Church members.
The strength of this opposition eventually resulted in the official scheme being changed to a cenotaph to be erected on the Parade near to the Marine Hotel
The cenotaph was dedicated in November 1922 as can be seen in the photos below.
This was the cenotaph’s first location and first dedication.
In 1947 it was decided to move it to a new and possibly safer location in the gardens adjacent to the railway station. Here you can see its second dedication ceremony conducted by Rev. Owen.
Here it stayed until the 1970s when it made its next move to the newly landscaped gardens which had replaced the old cemetery.
The picture below, taken from the church tower, shows it in its third location in 1976.
It still stands here today.