St Michael

War Memorial

There are a number of war memorials in the church, churchyard, and elsewhere in the village.

Village War Memorial

The war memorial is located in St. Michael's churchyard, outside the church on the north side.

The memorial is a stone cross mounted on a plinth and lists 32 names.

The details of the original inscriptions of the fallen of the 1914-1918 war have been eroded by time but are still legible.

In August 1990 two slate tablets were added to the base of the memorial. The first is the dedication tablet which reads:

1914 - 1918 AND 1939 - 1945.

The second lists the 27 names of the fallen of the 1914-1918 war together with the 5 names of the fallen of the 1939-45 war. The names are recorded alphabetically.

The memorial is the responsibility of the Farnsfield Branch Royal British Legion.

It was unveiled on Sunday, 24th August 1922 by Capt. Sherbrooke, RN, DSO, when it was dedicated by the Ven. W.J. Conybeare, Archdeacon of Nottingham. A report of the unveiling appears in the Newark Advertiser of 27th August, 1922. The newspaper report records 27 names inscribed on the memorial. It is described as Whitby Stone with a four square base and a high pillar surmounted by St Andrew's Cross. On the front is embedded an old warrior's sword in bronze.

The names and regiments of the fallen were inscribed on the four sides of the base of the cross as follows:

Pte. S. Barlow, R.W. Kent Regt.

Cpl. G. Bartles, Staffs.

Sergt. R.E. Barton, E. Surrey Regt.

Col. F. Bowman, Canadian Infantry

Gnr. W. Buckels, R.G.A. (misspelt in the Newark Advertiser report)

Pte. W. Challand, South Staffs.

Pte. H. Coleman, Sherwood Foresters

Pte. C.E. Farr, Sherwood Foresters

Pte. J. Fogg, Sherwood Foresters

Pte. N.C. Goulding, Sherwood Foresters

Pte. J.H. Hogg, W. Riding Regt.

Pte. J.S. Marriot, Canadian Reserve (one T on roll of honour but two on the war memorial)

Col. J. Milner, Sherwood Foresters

Boy ll, G.L. Parr, H.M.S. Powerful

Pte. C.W. Powell, West Yorks.

L/Cpl. F. Robinson, North Staffs.

Gnr. W. Ross, R.F.A.

Dr. H.T. Smith, R.F.A.

Act Ldg. Stoker, G.W.H.A. Smith, H.M.S. Black Prince

Pte. A.J. Spittlehouse, Sherwood Foresters

Pte. W. Stanley, Lincolns

Lieut. A. Straw, Sherwood Foresters

2/Lieut. F.W. Straw, Sherwood Foresters

Pte. C. Thorpe, Sherwood Foresters

Sergt. T.E. White, M.G.C.

Cpl. L. Whitworth, Sherwood Foresters

Spr. H.D. Wright, Canadian Engineers

The original cost was paid for by public subscription.

The names of the fallen of the 1939-1945 war are:

C. Davis

C. Dexter

H. Hucknall

A. MacAskill

A. Smith

The cost of repair work in 1990 was paid for out of the £2,000 raised in an appeal organised by the Farnsfield Branch Royal British Legion. A part of this appeal is available for future repairs.

Gnr. W. Buckels, Pte. N.C. Goulding and Pte. J.H. Hogg are buried in the graveyard (information from the War Graves Commission).

Roll of Honour and Tablet

The framed, decorated Roll of Honour and a tablet below it are located at the west end of the church, on the tower buttress.

The Roll of Honour details the fallen in the 1914-18 war and the tablet below it lists the fallen in the 1939-45 war.

The inscription on the tablet reads:

1939     +      1945


The name of A. Smith is omitted from the tablet, but appears on the war memorial outside the church.

The memorial is the responsibility of the Parochial Church Council.

The Farnsfield Halifax Bomber Memorial

A stone of remembrance and display cabinet.

The stone of remembrance is located at the base of Riddings Hill, half a mile south of the village centre. Signposts in the village direct visitors to the memorial. It is in a field, in a copse of 300 trees specially planted and all fenced in for public access in 1994.

The memorial commemorates the crew of the plane, who died on the spot where the memorial stands. Seven names are listed.

The stone is dolomite limestone from Cadeby quarry near Doncaster, and was a gift from the quarry owners, Redland Aggregates Limited.

The memorial is the responsibility of The Farnsfield Halifax Bomber Memorial Trust. The committee of the Trust are:-
Frank Reynolds, Jack Wright, Ingrid Cotterill, Jeff Boonham, John Brown, Don Fraser, David Johns, Harvey Johnson, George Rhodes, Robin Richardson, John Sheffield, Steve Sheppard and Dennis Slack.

The idea to raise the memorial is attributed to Frank Reynolds, a local farmer.

Present on 6th July, 1994, the day of the service, parade and unveiling, were the Lord Lieutenant of the County, Sir Andrew Buchanan and his lady, the Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council, Councillor Peter Burgess, the Chairman of Newark and Sherwood District Council, Councillor Bill Greig, members of the families of the crew, many local people and others. The R.A.F. were represented by the Officer Commanding R.A.F. Finningley, Group Captain D.J.G. Wilby and the Officer Commanding R.A.F. Newton, Group Captain C.D. Adcock. The Canadian Government were represented by Colonel John David of the Canadian High Commission.

The service, attended by nearly 500 people, was held in St Michael's Church, and conducted by the Rev. David Bartlett. 

The memorial was unveiled by Air Marshal Sir John Curtiss, himself a member of 578 Squadron.  It  was dedicated by the Ven. Tom Walker, Archdeacon of Nottingham. The memorial was paid for by funds raised by the Farnsfield Halifax Bomber Memorial Trust on a site provided by Mr. F.A. Reynolds. The moment of unveiling was marked by a fly-past by a Dakota, provided by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight from R.A.F. Coningsby.

The stone was designed by the Trust. Mike Disley, a local sculptor, is recorded as responsible for the engraving.

The display cabinet was refurbished for its present use by John Parfrement and the display was by John Bowns, both of Farnsfield.

A video was made to record the events of the day.

Approximately £10,000 was raised in cash and kind and a small fund remains for future expenses.

Memorial Cabinet: A tribute

The memorial cabinet is located on the south wall of the church.

The cabinet contains a tribute to the crew who were killed as crew of Halifax bomber LK-U of 578 Squadron, No 4 Group R.A.F. Bomber Command, when the aircraft crashed on the edge of Farnsfield on 6th July, 1944.

Between the badges of the RAF and 578 Squadron under the title it reads:

"On the evening of July 6th 1944 a Handley Page Halifax aircraft MZ519 LK-U of No 578 Squadron of the Royal Air Force crashed on the outskirts of the village of Farnsfield with the loss of all seven members of its crew.

The aircraft was returning to its base at Burn in Yorkshire, on completion of its mission to Croixdalle in Northern France where the Squadron had attacked one of the launching sites from which the V1 'Flying Bombs' were being directed towards London.

This tribute was made possible by the generosity of relatives of the crew, friends, service associations and many people of the village".

There is a separate photograph with details of each member of the crew.

The crew were:

P/O. Reginald Parfitt, Pilot. 177439. Age 22. Cardiff.

F/O. Brian Grahame Turnidge, Navigator. 152501. Age 24. Bristol.

Sgt. Raymond Albert Rolph, Flight Engineer. 1645930. Age 23. Rochford, Essex.

F/Sgt. John Joseph Godin, Bomb Aimer. R151252. R.C.A.F. Age 20. North Bay, Ontario, Canada. Age 20 or 19?

Sgt. Thomas Frederick Pitts, Wireless Operator. 1621271. Age 22. Hale, Cheshire.

Sgt. Thomas Archer Hill, M/U Air Gunner. 1535267. Age 21. Bilston, Staffs.

Sgt. Leonard Granville Leatham, Rear Air Gunner. 2220239. Age 20. Tipton, Staffs.

The photograph in the bottom left is of LK-U being serviced at Burn, just a few days before the crash and in the centre are artefacts recovered from the site. Many other artefacts have been re-buried under the memorial stone at the crash site.

The crew members were buried in their home towns, with the exception of John Godin, who was buried in Harrogate.

The cabinet and display were undertaken by John Parfrement  of Farnsfield.

The memorial is the responsibility of The Farnsfield Halifax Bomber Memorial Trust.

Memorial Display

There was a Memorial Frame Display located in the Warwick Arms in the village. The Warwick Arms has more recently in 2010 been converted to a shop. The location of the display is not known, but may be in The Plough Inn.

The display contains the memorabilia of F/Sgt John Joseph Godin of the Royal Canadian Air Force who was killed with the other members of the crew of Halifax bomber LK-U of 578 Squadron when the aircraft crashed on the edge of Farnsfield on 6th July, 1944. All of the items in the cabinet had been lovingly cared for by his sister Margaret. When Margaret came over from Canada for the unveiling and dedication of the memorial on 6th July, 1994 she brought this display with her and presented it to the village of Farnsfield.

The memorial display is the responsibility of The Farnsfield Halifax Bomber Memorial Trust.