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Memorials of the Great War at St. Mary's, Oldswinford
The church web site has a new URL: www.stmaryschurcholdswinford.org.uk
St. Mary's is remarkably rich in memorials of the First World War. There are eleven within the church, and the graves of four soldiers and a nurse who died at home can be found in the churchyard. The original parish War Memorial stood outside the church in a small garden beside the main gateway and is now situated in the north porch. This memorial records the names of seventy men who died between 1914 and 1919, together with another three hundred and fifty six names of those who served their country in uniform.
What impresses today is the great number of names on the memorial. The central panel lists those who died and is headed by the inscription, "These gave their lives and sleep in many lands that you may live at peace". Four panels, two on each side, record the names of all those from the parish who went to war, and underneath are the words, "Remember the men of the parish of Oldswinford who have served their country."
There is a second memorial in the Lady Chapel, a brass wall mounted panel, which was dedicated in 1921 as a permanent parish memorial. The names on this memorial are not quite identical with the original memorial but, when the names of those buried in the churchyard and those commemorated on all the memorials are included, the total comes to eighty. The list that follows includes the date of death, the battle area for those who died in the front line and the cemetery or memorial where each is buried or commemorated. The personal memorials are to be found in the Chancel and Lady Chapel. Six are wall mounted plaques, one is a stained glass window and the other is a brass altar book stand.
A longer introduction to these memorials has been published by St. Mary's P.C.C. and is available in local book shops and libraries. A Memorial File has also been compiled giving detailed information about each of those who died. This will be available for inspection in the church. Roy Peacock, who has compiled the material, would be grateful for any information about the persons named on the memorials and may be contacted through the Rectory Office or by email.
The Stourbridge War Memorial records the names of those from Stourbridge who died in both the First and Second World Wars.