|Scouts Reading the inscription of the War Memorial
|Copyright of the Thoresby Society. Reproduced with permission
The Barwick in Elmet War Memorial is situated at The Cross in Barwick
in Elmet, at the end of Main Street. Only a few feet away is the famous Barwick Maypole. The Barwick War Memorial consists
of three bronze plaques mounted on the new cross which stands on the base of the ancient village cross. The remains of the
old cross now stand in the churchyard of Barwick's All Saints Church.
The following account was written by
Mr Alan Senior and is taken from "The Barwicker", the journal of the Barwick Historical Society, and I am grateful
to the society and in particular the former editor, Mr Arthur Bantoft, for permission to use it here.
|Barwick in Elmet War Memorial in 2007
"In 1919, a committee was formed to raise funds for, and subsequently
erect, the Barwick War Memorial. Full details of this are aptly described by Arthur Bantoft in 'The Barwicker' No.39.
There is however no record of the existence of this committee in the Parish Council minutes until August 1920
when the Parish Council received a letter from its Secretary, Mr Arthur Booth. He stated that his committee wished to hand
over the Memorial Cross to the Parish Council so that the same should be in the keeping of "the people's constitutionally
The Parish Council readly accepted the offer, provided that Colonel Gascoigne would
give a written undertaking vesting the memorial "site" in the Parish Council for all time. Colonel Gascoigne had
in fact previously written, as follows, to Mr Childe (Chairman of the Memorial Committee) on 25th, February 1919, already
making such an offer:
I have much pleasure in making over the Village Cross at Barwick for
the purpose of a Barwick War Memorial., providing that the Parish Council prepare whatever legal document there may be necessary
for me to sign at their own expense.
Some ten or twenty years ago, the fact of my being Lord of the Manor saved what
remains of this Cross from being turned into a Lamp Post, for which it was never intended.
I will tell Prater (Colonel
Gascoigne's agent ) to reply to you as above. I enclose £15 (Fifteen pounds) for the Fund and £10 from Miss
Yours very truly,
(signed) RFT Gascoigne
After signing the letter, Colonel Gascoigne wrote:
"I should think that if I give a written undertaking that I make over the Barwick Cross to the Barwick Parish Council
that that will be sufficient".
|Barwick in Elmet War Memorial between the wars
|Copyright Leeds Library Services. Reproduced with permission
Mr Childe sent a copy of the letter to the Parish Council, which
contacted its solicitors, Bromet and Sons of Tadcaster, to make the necessary legal arrangements. The solicitors replied on
11th. May 1921:
Barwick War Memorial
We have now considered this matter and have also interviewed
Colonel Gascoigne and Mr Prater.
It appears to us that the old Barwick Cross is not vested in the Colonel either as
Lord of the Manor or otherwise, and this being so, he has no estate or interest therein to pass on to the Council.
return the letter for filing, and think you need not do anything further in the matter. We make no charge.
Bromet and Son
The Parish Council immediately took over the ownership of the Barwick War Memorial.
The original cross, presumed to be a market cross, was transferred circa 1920 to an area near to the entrance porch of the
Parish Church. I wonder if this cross should now be included, under recent red-tape arrangements in the list of assets of
the Parish Council.
The memorial suffered "desecration" in August 1930 and following a request from
the British Legion, was "railed off" with posts and rails for the sum of £10. 7s. 6d. Further "malicious"
damage occurred in October 1930 and again in October 1932 - the cost of the repairs being 6s. 6d. The Parish Council resolved
that the account be sent to the ramblers who were responsible for the damage."
The War Memorial was
unveield in 1920 by Mrs Kate Childe, of Barwick, whose son Derrick was killed in the Great War.
The plaque which
commemorates the Barwick men who died in the Second World War was unvieled at a special ceremony on Sunday, 24 July 1949.
The Rector, Reverend Canon Gray MA conducted the service, and the plaque was unvieled by Mr W. Senior in his capacity as Chairman
of the Barwick in Elmet and Scholes British Legion.