Dorking war memorial.
Plenty of names,…
…264 in total,…
…and one in particular, top right,…
…who tends to attract the most attention, proved once again by the fact that he is the only man on the memorial who has featured in not just one but two previous posts on this website. Did I say man? More about fifteen year old Valentine Joe Strudwick can be found here and here.
The memorial is made of Portland Stone, the arms on either side inscribed with 88 names of those killed in service during World War II.
Pity the Great War centenary cleaning budget couldn’t have extended to World War II as well.
I suppose some time in early 2039 they’ll clean the memorial’s wings too.
Ten civilians, the victims of German bombing, complete the list.
Dorking is only a small town with a population of about 11,000, but like so many similar towns across the country, memories of the Great War are never far away.
Sixty two casualties of two World Wars can be found in the cemetery, there’s another memorial and a Roll of Honour in the church, and yet another, rather unusual, Roll of Honour elsewhere in the high street, as you can see here.
I share your pity MJS as to why the WW1 cleaning Budget could not have extended to the WW2 lists however this raises yet another question. Some War Memorials I’ve seen on my side of the world have inscriptions that to all intents and purposes have “black lettering” but in fact are old style stone masons cut lettering filled with lead much the same as old civilian cemetery head stones.
Without going into the intricacies (which I’ve been taught by a UK trained old time true Stonemason) and depending upon the tablet stone (noting Dorking’s is Portland) lead filled lettering should not be cleaned. Many in ignorance brush or pressure clean these tablets and wash out the lead thus disfiguring the lettering. My old mate says: NEVER clean these tablets. DO NOT touch them – leave them to mature with age.
Could this be why the WW2 lists were not cleaned?
Very interesting Sid. I might make it a mission to find out. Dorking is not far away – I might go and see the Council and ask them. As if anyone will know the answer, of course. But it is a very interesting point. Honestly, the knowledge in this Great War group of ours staggers me sometimes.