The Wellingborough News Friday 24 January 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates
War Shrines - First to be Erected in Rushden
The Rector of Rushden, the Rev. Percy Robson, M.A., has successfully initiated a scheme for street war shrines for Rushden, and one will shortly be erected in Cromwell road, Rushden. The Rector called a meeting of mothers in Newton road Schools, and was rewarded with a representative attendance of mothers from Cromwell road, a street which has probably provided more soldiers than any other in the town.
The Rector explained the proposal to the assembled mothers. It was his idea to have inscribed on the shrine the names of those who have fallen, and also those who were serving. The shrine would be composed of an oak frame, protected from the weather by a sheltering ledge, or roof, at the top. At the base would be affixed a tray in which flowers could be placed by the residents. Near by would also be a box in which cigarettes and such gifts could be placed for the soldiers.
The Rector generously announced that he would present the shrine to Cromwell road in the hope that other streets would follow the example and provide similar memorials. He proposed that when the shrine was fixed a dedication service be had and he hoped that each street that took up the scheme would allow him to arrange a similar dedication. He wished to make it quite clear that the shrines were not to be considered exclusively with the Church of England. They were to be considered as unsectarian, for his purpose in taking the matter up was, because he was thoroughly in sympathy with the idea and thought an effort should be made to carry it out. He hoped members of all denominations would give the scheme their support in other parts of the town, and he would be pleased to attend any meeting similar to that one to explain fully the scheme.
The meeting was enthusiastic in support of the Rector's proposals, and a committee was formed to prepare a complete list of names for the shrine and to select a site.
It is hoped to complete the arrangements ready for the dedication service in a week or two. It is suggested that other streets shall follow the example set and request the rev. gentleman's help and advice.
|The Wellingborough News Friday 9 February 1917
War Shrine - Dedication of Street Roll of Honour in Rushden - Rushden's First War Shrine
An interesting little ceremony took place at Rushden, on Saturday afternoon in Cromwell-road, Rushden, when the Rev. Percy Robson dedicated the Street Roll of Honour. There was a fair number of grown-up people at the ceremony.
The "Shrine" is erected at the corner of Cromwell-road and Robinson-road, and is a neat little wood frame with a roof and a tray underneath for flowers. Below the "Shrine" is a box for money or cigarettes which will be sent to the soldiers. The whole is painted green, and at the top is a gold cross and the Union Jack and a flag with a red cross on a white ground.
In opening the proceedings the Rector said the "Shrine" was to be dedicated to God in loving memory of those who had fallen and of those who had given their services for their King and Country. It would form a constant reminder of those who were still on active service, fighting or preparing to fight for the honour and freedom of their beloved country, and to protect their hearths and homes. That war shrine, or street roll of honour, was the first of its kind to be placed in that town, and he hoped it would not be the last by very many. While they called it a war shrine, he wanted them to realise that is was not simply a memorial to those who had fallen. When peace came - which please God might come soon - there would, of course, be erected some permanent memorial in the town, a worthy memorial of all those who had given their lives for their country and all they held dear. But that shrine bore the names of those who had fallen and those who were on active service, and it was meant to be a constant reminder to all living in the street, or going through the street, of those who were on active service and were jeopardising their lives for them. He hoped they would keep the flowers fresh and renewed. He was sure the shrine would be tended with love and care for the sake of those who were absent. He was quite sure also as they passed that spot and looked up at the "Roll of Honour" they would lift up their hearts to God for the safety and succour of those in peril abroad. Cromwell road was the first to have a shrine, and it was worthy of the honour. If they looked on the Roll of Honour they would see that the street had given the lives of fourteen of its sons and the services of 130. It used to be said, so he was told, that Cromwell road a generation or so back, did not bear the highest reputation. But the men of that generation had proved themselves worthy. The estate was know as the "Rock" and it sons had proved themselves as strong and firm as the name of the district they lived in. Should there be any lad fall fighting for freedom he would like to hold a short memorial service at that spot for those who loved him and those dwelling in the street, who would naturally have an interest in him. He would also like them to place on the "Roll" a laurel wreath as a token of loving respect for his memory.
The Rector then read a short dedication service, and offered prayer. The ceremony concluded with the singing of the National Anthem.
|Rushden Echo, 23rd February 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
To Commemorate the Brave Rolls of Honour in Rushden Street War Shrines Cromwell-Road’s Example
After the recent dedication of a war shrine in Cromwell-road, Rushden, by the Rector (Rev P Robson), the matter has aroused enthusiasm amongst the residents of other streets in Rushden, and tomorrow four separate dedication services will be conducted by the Rectorat 2.30pm in Robert-street, 3.00pm in Harborough-road, 3.30pm in Crabb-street, and 4.30pm in Denmark-road.
It is thought that before very long every street in Rushden will be considered and we understand that at least nine of the these war shrines are being prepared for ewrection. Gifts of “shrines” have now been made by: Mr W A Evans, Victoria Hotel, in memory of his late wife; Mr and Mrs H H Hobbs, of Griffith-street; Mr W Clayton, of Harborough-road; Mr W Bailey, of Washbrook-road; and one anonymously. The Rev P J Richards and Mrs Banks, of Wellingborough-road, have offered subscriptions, and the inhabitants of Denmark-road have subscribed £2 5s. for a wreath and for comforts to the soldiers whose names are on their roll.
Yesterday afternoon two meetings were held in St Mary’s Vestry to consider the erection of war shrines for Queen-street and High-street district from the Church to the railway bridge, (including West-street, Victoria-road, Beaconsfield-terrace, Beaconsfield-place, and East-grove). The following committee of ladies was elected: Mrs Abbott (representing Victoria-road), Mrs Long (Beaconsfield-terrace and Beaconsfield-place), Mrs Willmott, junr, (East-grove), Mrs Fathers (High-street), and Mrs Rose (West-street). It was decided to hold a meeting of the committee to-night (Friday) to further consider the arrangements. A vote of thanks was passed to Mr and Mrs W H Taylor (of High-street), who have presented a war shrine for their street.
The following committee have the arrangements in hand for the Crabb-street war shrine: Mrs C Childs (treasurer), Mrs H Hensman (secretary), Mesdames Sail, Farrar, Lett, Bull and Cox.
|The Wellingborough News Friday 6 April 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates
In Memoriam - Impressive Service at Rushden Street War Shrine
A very impressive service was held at the Cromwell-road, "Roll of Honour" on Sunday evening as a last tribute of respect and honour to the memory of Privates Matthews, Wills and Gunn, of Cromwell-road, Rushden who died on the field of battle during the recent fighting.
The service was well attended, and was conducted by the Rector, the Rev. Percy Robson. Members of the Church Lad's Brigade were present. The hymns "Thy will, not mine O Lord," "On the resurrection morn," and "Abide with me" were sung very feelingly. A short address was delivered by the Rector, and at the close of the service the National Anthem was sung and the "Last Post" sounded by the Bugle Party of the C.L.B.
The Wellingborough News Friday 26 December 1919
War Shrines - Rushden's "Rolls of Honour" to be Preserved
A well-attended meeting took place at the Vestry Hall, Rushden, on Monday, to discuss the future of street war "shrines". The Rector, The Rev. Percy Robson, presided and was supported by the Rev. C. J. Keeler and members of the various street committees.
The Chairman outlined the reasons for the erection of the "shrines", stating they were to commemorate the names of the fallen, to enable flowers to be placed upon them on special occasions, to enable a full and complete list of those who joined H.M. Forces to be obtained, and to send gifts to those fighting their country's battles. In all those things the "shrines" had abundantly justified themselves. Now the questions arose as to what was to be done with them. As he had been more or less responsible for their erection, he felt responsible for their future, and therefore he was going to make a definite suggestion. He would like them to be restored and removed from their present position and put in some place of security. He would like them to ask the Library Committee for permission to put them in that building. He thought that they should be placed in good repair and a new and accurate list of names be made for each one (Applause).
Mrs Durham proposed a resolution embodying all the Rector's suggestions, which was seconded, and unanimously carried.
The Rev. C. J. Keeler quite agreed with the decision, but would like to see whatever was erected as a Town's war memorial, a cenotaph, or something where flowers could be placed on anniversary and other special occasions.
It was also decided that a month be allowed for the restoration of the "shrines".
The meeting concluded with hearty thanks to the Rector and the Rev. C. J. Keeler for the interest they had taken in the matter.
|The Wellingborough News Friday 9 January 1920
Extract from an article on the meeting of the Rushden branch of the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers. Councillor Mr F Knight, J.P. said that Rushden had lost 400 gallant sons and a very large number of the 2,500 men who had joined up had returned maimed and broken.
|The Rushden Echo, Friday 2 March 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Street War Shrines for Rushden - Four More Dedicated Services by the Rector
Four more war shrines have now been erected in Rushden, one each in Roberts-street, Harborough-road, Crabb-street and Denmark-road, and these were dedicated in their respective order by the Rector (Rev. P Robson) on Saturday afternoon. The services were short but impressive, being conducted in the same form as the services over the shrine in Cromwell-road, and there were a good number of people present at each dedication. All the shrines are similar in structure to the one in Cromwell-road, the first one erected in Rushden, and all four have two small Union Jacks crossed over them, and a golden cross painted on the top of the woodwork with the Union Jack painted on one side of it and the red cross of St George on the other. An appropriate prayer is printed at the bottom of each roll, underneath the names.
The Roll of Honour in Denmark-road, is erected outside a dwelling-house half-way up the street. As yet it has only one name; Jim Murdin on its list of dead, and 15 names on the active service list. White flowers on its base are prettily arranged with green foliage.
The Crabb street shrine is erected outside a dwelling house at the bottom of the street, facing Park road. The flowers, pink, white and yellow, are delicately arranged round the bottom of the roll, which bears the following names on the death list: Bert Hodson, Victor Marshall Moon, Frank Sheffield, Horace Sheffield, Sydney William Denton and Arthur Smith. Wm Sargent is a prisoner, and there are about 14 names on the active service list.
The shrine for Harborough-road, Park-place, and Dell-place is paled outside Mr Clayton's shop at the corner of Park-road and Harborough-road, and is the largest yet erected. It was made and presented by Mr Clayton himself, and underneath the crossed flags is a beautiful laurel wreath, with two red, white and blue rosettes. The care shown in the arranaement of the white and yellow flowers is evidence of the pride taken in the shrine by the people whose sons the erection represents. The death list on the shrine contains the names: Thomas Dickens, Fredk A Clayton, Jack Snowden, Lewis W Craxton, Arthur E Atkins, Thomas C Harley, John G A Scott; the 'prisoners of war" lists: Herbert Whiting, William Sargent, and there are between 140 and 150 names on the active service list.
All the street shrines have a box underneath for gifts of cigarettes and money, etc, and the response to these is, we understand, generous. Altogether the matter of street shrines is being taken up with great enthusiasm.