Lee, Church Street School War Memorial Dedication Service

No fewer than 15 former scholars of the Church-street School gave up their lives on the various fronts, and their memory is for ever kept green.

The official unveiling of the memorial took place on May 15, 1923, when the member for the Division, Lieutenant-Colonel Assheton Pownall, performed the unveiling ceremony, in the presence of many parents, scholars and friends. Mr . A. L.G. Speechley had the melancholy task of reading out the list of names, which recalled to the mind of Colonel Pownall that many of the fallen men served in the regiment—the 30th London, which he himself commanded. He referred with pride to the manner in which the boys had come forward in the early days, and later when the need arose for service overseas, how they again volunteered to do their bit. The proportion of fallen comrades was a heavy one, and though their loss was deplored the record of the school was a proud one and one he was sure they would always treasure.

On Empire Day, which fell in the following week, a second unveiling ceremony took place to drive home more completely the lessons of Empire. On this occasion Lieut-Colonel Eric Ball, L.O.C., then the officer-in-command of the 10th London Regiment, performed the unveiling. In his address Colonel Ball said that unveiling ceremonies were not an easy task, for often times names recalled incidents of the war. They were, however, not to regard this and other memorials with regret and sadness but in a spirit of emulation, determined to follow ‘the example set by those who gave up everything in order that right should prevail over might.
The memorial consists of a wall cabinet, which holds a volume containing the names of more than 300 old boys who served in the war. Upon two panels are inscribed the names of the fallen. After the first unveiling, flags were fitted to the memorial and a receptacle was provided to hold the flowers, which the scholars bring from time to time, so that the cabinet is ever fresh and bright. These additions were made by Councillor E. W. Hayes, the chairman of the Board of Managers, whose interest in the school in his own sphere was not less than that of the popular and respected headmaster, Mr. Cyril A. Cobb.

Reference: Gregory, R.R.C & Nunn, F.W, The Story of Lee, London, 1923 pp 373. Illustration facing page 384

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