Image above: The memorial bench at the last Remembrance Day; photograph David Beresford
A number of plaques have been stolen from the First World War memorial bench outside St Michael & All Angels Church, on the corner of Bath Rd and The Avenue in Bedford Park.
Eight of the 17 metal plaques that name the dead have been prised from their place on the back wall of the stone seat, which was created by subscription of Bedford Park residents, and specially designed by architect Inigo Triggs in 1918.
David Beresford told The Chiswick Calendar the Church is not sure whether the motive for defacing the memorial was vandalism or theft. The plaques are only about eight inches square and each bear the name of a man associated with the local parish who died during the First World War while serving as a member of the armed services.
It is not the first time plaques have been taken from the bench. Those that have been removed now were themselves replacements for the original plaques, which were stolen in the 1980s.
Image above: The memorial bench with eight out of 17 plaques removed; photograph David Beresford
“I’m very dispirited that somebody should want to do that” he told The Chiswick Calendar. “There can’t be much value to them”.
David was the principal researcher when St Michael and All Angels Church undertook a centenary project to discover the lives of the Bedford Park Parish’s casualties. The results of his research can be seen here: St Michael and All Angels World War One Project
In and around the church there are memorials with the names of 128 men and women who died in the war and were somehow connected to the church and/or the local area.
“I’ve come to know a lot about these people. They’ve become real and I’ve come to look on them as chums, with affection” David told us.
Image above: Close up showing where the plaques have been prised away; photograph David Beresford
The site of the memorial belongs to Hounslow Council rather than the Church and both the council and the police have been notified.
When he was doing his research David got in contact with quite a few distant relatives of those who were memorialised. It was the families of the fallen who made sure their names were added.
“Their families got them included because they felt they should be respected and remembered”.
These are the names of those memorialised on the bench. Those with asterisks against them are on plaques which have been stolen.
1. Dudley Cecil ALDIN
2. Cyril F AUSTIN
3. Rowland Hurst BOURNE
4. C Ernest Brooks WARD
5. Hubert C deZ COLLIER
6. Maurice CLIFT
7. Alfred H COATSWORTH
8. L Drummond COLLINS
9. Oliphant DOWN
10. Arthur Edward FOSTER
11. George FULTON
12. Conrad Michael GIBSON
13. Arthur Rowlett GILL
14. John Henry GRAYSON
15. Kenneth HALLWARD
16.Archibald HOLLAND ***
17. Kenneth KEMP ***
18. Arthur Greenwell LAX ***
19. Noel Oliff LEE
20 Norman LITTLE
21. Harold LONGHURST
22. Derek LUTYENS
23. Reginald Walter MCKWELL ***
24. Maxwell MALLALUE ***
25. Clive Guise MOORES ***
26. Peter NASH ***
27. Lionel F C NEILL ***
28. Frank NEWINGTON ***
29. George Constantine PAUL ***
30. Rolly PIFFARD ***
31. Ivor R POGESE ***
32. Hubert Arthur POPE ***
33. Albert Alexander ROBINSON ***
34. Wilfred ROWE ***
35. G Philip ROWLANDSON ***
36. Charles William SCHWABEN ***
37. Henry Robert SCHWABEN ***
38. Carlos STEVENSON ***
39. Arthur Brian WHITE ***
40. C Edgar A WILSON ***
41. Laurence T WILSON ***
42. Joseph George WOOLF ***
43. Richard F C YORKE ***
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