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This year is the Centenary of the Armistice which took effect from 11.00am on 11th November 1918, resulting in a cessation of hostilities on the Western Front in the First World War.
We will be commemorating the Centenary of the Armistice in Rothley with a number events, including the Casualty Walk, A Celebration of Harmony concert, and Service of Remembrance at Rothley Church.
The Roll of Honour at Rothley Parish Church was refurbished in 2018, details are provided below.
Charles Poole will be leading the Casualty Walk and will show where our casualties grew up, and also see some of the memorials, which were written about in Marion Vincent's book Rothley Remembers, Men & Memorials (copies are still available from Terry Sheppard for £15).
Charles will be accompanied on the walk by Sam Sleath, a representative of a listed casualty, Private Sydney Feltham Bull. Sam's home in Woodgate is next door to that used by the Bull household, and was built by Sam Sleath's great grandfather Frank. Sydney Bull emigrated to Australia before WW1 but joined the Australian Infantry Force (the 'AIF'), returning to the old country only to be killed in action in France. The walk will end at the Methodist Church on Howe Lane where there is a special plaque placed in his honour by Sydney's father, a Methodist elder. Donations will go to The Royal British Legion.
For more details contact Charles Poole.
The concent will feature 33 men of the Grand Central Chorus barber shop ensemble, representing the 33 casualties listed on the Great War Reredos in the north aisle of the Rothley Church (view photo in new Window).
Private Bull will again appear in his AIF uniforn, reading a letter from him to his parents, and calling out the words of the Ode of Remembrance after the trumpet sounds the Last Post. The Chorus has a special national award winning quartet called Finest Hour, singing two tear-jerking pieces including So Long Mother.
Advance tickets at £5 and information available from Terry Sheppard.
Our morning service will be held at the earlier time of 10.00am (instead of 10.30am), and will be shorter than usual, enabling us to support the village Remembrance at the War Memorial on Cross Green at 11.00am (view location on Google Maps). More details soon.
The restoration of the Roll of Honour during the centenary year of The Great War was the wish of the late John Sheppard DCM, who attended the church regularly and did much voluntary work for Rothley over many decades. The wooden memorial is located near the West Door (Tower).
John Sheppard consulted the Parochial Church Council (PCC) in September 2014. The PCC agreed to go ahead with the work. John died on 26th February 2015 and Frank and Marion Whitby took over the project.
The Roll of Honour in Rothley Parish Church is dedicated to 292 men from Rothley village who served in The Great War 1914-1918. It is unusual in that it records the names of all the Rothley men who served and this provides additional information for local families and researchers. The 28 names of those who died are recorded in gold lettering in the centre panel and the lettering for the 264 names on the folding wings of the memorial is in red. (It is interesting to note that the Great War Reredos in the North aisle lists 33 deaths, and when it came to reviewing the names on the Cross Green Memorial, the missing Bertie Bates was added, making 34 in total).
Over the years the lettering on the memorial had deteriorated and in some places it was difficult to read. The timber frame, centre panel and wings were also in need of repair, cleaning and protecting for the first time since it was presented by Catherine Broadhurst of Rothley Temple.
The restoration was undertaken by Belgrave Conservation which specialises in fine and decorative art conservation, is accredited by ICON (The Institute of Conservation). Work such as this requires a Faculty (or Permission) from the Diocese of Leicester. Preparing the Faculty Application papers started in spring 2017. On Monday 23 July 2018, Claire Ridley ACR and Dr Campbell Norman-Smith of Belgrave Conservation began work on the memorial. The work took 5 days. The aim of the restoration was to carry out a complete and sympathetic refurbishment which does service to this beautiful and unusual memorial.
If you would like to see the Roll of Honour, Rothley Parish Church is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday during the summer months.