War Memorials

Written by Rev'd Cameron Butland.

 Whenever visiting a new Church or community I always like to look at its war memorials.  A war memorial tells you so much about the people who have lived in that community and how important previous generations are to those living now. 


In some places war memorials are well cared for, they are positioned in places where they are seen every day and often they still have poppies or flowers on them. In Grasmere we have the village memorial in Broadgate Meadow.  Have you ever thought how appropriate that is?  So many memorials are set aside from everyday life or put on a stone island by the road.  Rather our war memorial looks across at the life of the village, our playground, the park where dogs are walked and impromptu games are played, the Village Hall and river running by, and surrounding the whole landscape the ring of fells that protect the village.  Is there a more impressive and yet homely place for a war memorial in England? Of course there is the memorial stone in St Oswald’s, once again not tucked away out of sight but rather in full view of the congregation.  It is an ever present witness during the seasons of the year and the Church festivals throughout the year. For the Church in November remembrance is the predominant theme as we think of the saints and faithful departed.  As we do so, Remembrance Sunday is part of this recalling of the past and those who by their lives and examples have created the world we live in.  As we recall the famous saints, the ordinary people who have lived good lives that have inspired us, let us also spare a thought for those listed on our war memorials.  Most of us might not have known those people named but they are part of our community, with us in Broadgate Meadow and St Oswald’s, a reminder of the cost of peace and the freedom won for our generation but those who lost their lives in war from this village of Grasmere. Cameron