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War Memorial - St George's Sunday School Rowing Club

St George's Sunday School Rowing Club (two memorials)


Site:

A garden next to the rowing club boathouse (now demolished) on the Peak Forest Canal towpath.  The boathouse was close to Captain Clarke's bridge, near to Woodend Lane.

The Great War memorial was in the centre of the garden, while sources differ as to the site of the Second World War memorial - a tablet.

Some former members say it was set into a wall.  Others say it was placed in the Great War memorial, and its wording would seem to bear this out.

Description:

The Great War memorial was "a small cenotaph with a spire." It was built by club members, each contributing a stone for the base- there were 46 in all - as a personal tribute.

A bottle containing the names and records of five members who died, and a full list of club members, was placed in a cavity within the monument.

Tablets were placed within the base on all four sides.

Facing Towpath

"Erected by St. George’s Sunday School Rowing Club."

Other Side

"Fallen: Pte Thomas H. Metcalfe, Pte W. Whitehead, Cpl Arthur Robinson, Pte William Wilson, Pte H.W Bancroft."

Road Side

"By The flag they battled for so long, by the fame they suffered so to save. Honour be and praise to the gallant and the strong. Honour the bravest of the brave."

Boathouse Side

"In remembrance and deep gratitude to their chums who fell in the World War 1914-1919."

The Second World War memorial comprised a tablet stating:

"Also to those who fell in the Second World War 1939-1945. Flight Sergeant R.H. Nash, Flying Officer F. Plant, Trooper H.H. Warburton.”

History:

The Great War memorial was unveiled by club president Mr C.H. Brogden on October 17, 1920. The service was conducted by the Rev. H.J. Graham.

Nothing now remains of the complex except for a few pieces of brickwork. Membership of the club began to tail off in the late 1950’s and the boathouse became derelict. It became a target for vandals and was eventually set on fire.

The Memorial also seems to have fallen to victim to vandalism. Nothing is left of it, although the Second World War tablet was found in the canal in 1986 during towpath restoration work.

Former Tameside Councillor Mr Frank Ruffley, who was in charge of the work, saw to it that the tablet and another commemorating the gift of the land in memory of Trooper Harry Hurst Warburton, were set flat into the ground - where they remain.

The second tablet is inscribed: "This land was given by Mr and Mrs N. Warburton as a memorial to their son Harry Hurst Warburton, killed in Italy February 23rd. 1946, Whilst on active Service with H.M. Forces."

Croft Street

A wooden memorial stood for many years in the wall of a grocer’s shop at the corner of Croft Street and Market Street.

Over the years the wood rotted badly, and the structure disappeared when the shop was refurbished in the 1970’s.

It was about 8ft high and 4ft wide and had a glass front. There was a shelf for flowers, while wreathes were hung underneath.

Besides the names of the fallen, the memorial also bore the names of all the men from Croft Street area who fought in the Great War. The early names were evenly spaced out, but later ones were crammed in.

George Street

There is hardly anything left to remind one of this memorial, or what it looked like. The area has been completely redeveloped and the M67 motorway, constructed in the mid to late 1970’s runs where George Street was once stood.

Many of the men commemorated would have been from Donneybrook area, once the toughest part of Hyde, which was demolished in late 1930s.

Apparently, the memorial stood outside the Star public house which, before redevelopment, was next to the Astoria bingo hall (still standing) then the Scala cinema. Before the war Mr and Mrs Lockwood regularly tended it, they were licensee’s of the star.

Page last updated: 16 March 2011