Details of those listed can be found on the Roll of Honour web site.
Thanks to Geoff Isted for allowing the use his photograph.
FLETCHING’S WAR MEMORIALS
UNVEILED BY SIR R. BADEN-POWELL
PREPARATIONS FOR PEACE
What the remote village of Fletching did in the War was solemnly proclaimed on Sunday, when memorials to 30 men who gave their lives were unveiled.
The old world street, at the end of which stands the church was full of people, who, though bearing the signs of mourning, yet carried themselves with pride.
Built in the churchyard but adjoining the roadway stands a cross of Portland stone with octagonal base and York stone steps. On the cross is the sword of sacrifice and the inscription on the front of the memorial is as follows:-
1914 The Great War 1919. In proud and grateful remembrance of the brave men of this parish who gave their lives in the cause of freedom.
Percy Bish, Sydney A. Brooks, Launcelot Curteis, William G. Day, John Ellis, Dennis A, Elphick, G. Roy Fitzpatrick, Edward Gladman, Fredrick Gladman, Harry Grover, Richard Grover, Harry Harding, Oswald Hood, Robert Kenward, Roland King, Jesse Mitchell, Alfred G. Moore, Thomas B, Morling, Ernest Neale, John W, Newnham, George Page, Raymond E, Pollard, William Reed, George Staplehurst, Frederick Staplehurst, Charles Staplehurst, Percy Welch, Harry Welfare, Robert Winchester.
Inside the church has been placed a tablet of alabaster and white statutory marble, on which is the plaque of St. George and the Dragon and this inscription with the names:
1911-1919. To the glory of God, in proud and affectionate memory of the men of this parish who gave their lives in the Great War.
The unveiling of the monument was performed by Lieut.-General Sir R. S. Baden-Powell, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., and the dedication by the Rural Dean (the Rev. Preb. E. Sanderson)
A party of soldiers stood in the roadway facing the memorial, resting on arms reversed, while by kind permission of the Commandant , the Band from Maresfield Training Camp was in attendance and led the singing in the open. Behind the soldiers stood relatives of the fallen men, and at the back of those were Boy Scouts, some of whom also lined the pathway to the church. In the rear were a goodly array of ex-Service men.
The flags of St. George and St. Andrew fluttered from the church steeple. Prior to the ceremony the Scouts and ex-Service men were inspected by Sir Baden-Powell.
At three o’clock a procession, led by the choir, left the church and wended its way to the memorial. Here the hymn, “O God, our help in ages past,” was sung.
The Vicar (the Rev. T.E. Roberts) said they were gathered to pay their respects to those who had died during the war, and he thought they all realised the solemnity of the occasion. They were glad to see Sir Baden-Powell, for he was one who had devoted his life to his country, and as he stood there he (the speaker) thought his sympathy was with them as they unveiled their memorial. If anyone had known the horrors of war he had.
Sir Robert Baden-Powell then gave an impressive address
Sir Robert then unveiled the memorial, which was dedicated by the Rural Dean. After the singing of “Let Saints on Earth in concert sing,” Sir Robert received a large laurel wreath at the hands of a Boy Scout and placed it on the memorial, while the soldiers presented arms. Other wreaths were then placed at the foot of the memorial, among which were the following inscriptions:-
“To the heroes of our Parish, in grateful and affectionate remembrance, Sheffield Park.”
“In grateful and affectionate remembrance from the parishioners of Fletching.”
“In memory of our comrades, from the ex-Service men of Fletching.”
IN THE CHURCH
The procession then returned to the church, which rapidly filled. The tablet was unveiled by Sir Baden-Powell and the Rural Dean. The choir and clergy then proceeded to the chancel. The 23rd Psalm was chanted, after which the lesson, Rev. vii, 9-17, was read by Colonel-Commandant E. C, Godfrey-Fawssett, C.B., C.M.G. Then followed the memorial of the dead and the reading of the names of the fallen by the Vicar. Two trumpeters, from the foot of the chancel steps, sounded the “Last Post”, which was followed by prayers. The hymn, “For all the saints, who from their labours rest,” was then sung, during which a collection was taken towards the cost of the memorial. Then “The Reveille” was sounded, followed by the Benediction and the National Anthem and an impressive service was at an end.
Mr. Laurence M. Ager, L.I.G.C.M. presided at the organ and as the congregation assembled played “In Memoriam - 1914” (P.J. Mansfield).
The Choir sang the anthem, “The sun shall be no more” (Woodward). In his sermon the Vicar paid tribute to Sir Robert Baden-Powell’s address at the dedication service. The collections throughout the day amounted to about £11,
The Boy Scouts from the Uckfield district were in attendance and included the following troops :- Uckfield (Scoutmaster G. Wheatley), 1st Lewes (Scoutmaster C. Severs), 2nd Lewes (Scoutmaster Smith), Ridgewood (Scoutmaster Hazelden, and Chailey.
Postcards dating from before the First World War
and after the installation of the War Memorial
The Fletching WWI Bench
As true as the facts can be
“I was with my grandfather Christopher Joyice senior on our way back home from his regular job of winding up the church clock, in 1958. Walking through the recreation ground and between what used to be the old well and the gate at the parsonage end of the rec, in the brambles was the remains of this bench: 2 legs and a rail with a plaque on it. My grandfather thought that originally there were five of these benches and that this must be the last one, so he pulled it out the brambles and decided to take it home and make sure it was never lost.”
The Joyice family became custodians of the bench and it remained in their custody until now, when Christopher Joyice saw my article in the parish magazine saying we would like any information on the 1st World War. Chris contacted me about the bench and asked if it would be of any interest. I was over the moon when he showed me the two legs and the plaque, and on the plaque was the inscription saying
PRESENTED BY FLETCHING EX-SERVICE MEN 1922
Chris then got the bench legs sandblasted and powder coated as close to the original colour as possible. I then approached David Gilfoyle to ask if he could make the rails and seat for the bench in oak. The Fletching branch of the Royal British Legion has covered the cost of restoration. The bench was unveiled at the Remembrance Sunday Service on the 9th November 2014, marking the centenary of World War I.