For this church:
Bingham St Mary and All Saints
First World War
The First World War memorial in Bingham is the restored chancel screen.
The screen is originally 15th Century, and parts of this remain. It was restored in the 19th Century under the rector the Rev Robert Miles, and decorated with paintings by his wife Mary Miles and son Frank Miles.
After the First World War it was agreed that there should be a War Memorial in Bingham, but there was some controversy about where it should be. Several non-conformists did not wish the memorial to be in the Parish Church, because a number of those commemorated were from different denominations. But the Rector, Canon Hutt, held out for it to be in the Parish Church, and his will prevailed.
Very much under the direction of the Rector and the architect W D Caröe, the Memorial was to be this restored chancel screen. So all of the 19th Century work was removed, new panels put in at the lower level with the names of those who had given their lives in the war, and entirely new woodwork put in at the upper level. The memorial was dedicated at a service on 26th June 1921.
The inscription along the top, under the letters AMDG, reads:
The names of those who fell are on the four central panels which read:
(The name of George Braithwaite appears out of sequence. It was originally omitted from the list and eventually added in 1995.)
After the Second World War two new panels were added to the screen with the names of those who fell. These read:
Some time later it was felt that a separate memorial was needed to those who fell in the Second World War. Because of the proximity of RAF Newton, and its importance for Bingham both during the war and afterwards, a cross was created out of former aircraft parts. The original plan had been for this to hang in the Methodist Church, complementing the memorial in the Parish Church, but in the end it was hung here.
In the middle of the cross seven doves, representing the ‘Seven Spirits of God’ (Rev 3.1) and also universal peace, surround a poppy of remembrance. A circle round these carries twelve spheres representing the twelve apostles. At the foot of the cross is a rose.
In 1992 the cross was suspended in a prominent position over the east end of the nave. In 1995 a further panel was added to the screen reading:
After the First World War, Ann Harrison (already 89 years old, and now commemorated by the small statue near the screen) raised money by selling scraps for pig food in order to provide for the purchase of a Roll of Honour book. This contains the names of all of those who served in the war, 202 names in all, in addition to those who gave their lives.
After the Second World War the names of those who fell in that conflict (though not all the others who served) were also incribed in the Roll of Honour book. The Roll of Honour book is still used, and the names of those who gave their lives are read from it at the Remembrance Service each November.
In 1996 the standards of the RAF Association and the British Legion were laid up in the church. (The RAF Association had recently disbanded. The British Legion standard had been replaced by one with the new name “Royal British Legion”.) They were placed in a bracket on the west wall of the church above the arch. The bracket has a third space so that in due time the standard of the Naval Association can also be laid up here.