Monday, 29 April 2024 19:17

Roll of Honour restored for 72 Chesterfield heroes

ss augustine roll of honour with guests

A total of 72 local men who died in service during the First World War are now remembered in a Roll of Honour mounted in the Church of Saints Augustine on Derby Road, Chesterfield.

Their names are on permanent display for the first time in around 100 years, after the original roll was taken down to allow the construction of the existing church building.

The church only realised the roll was missing in 2022, when military historian Michael Orme produced a 1920 newspaper cutting confirming that a roll of 72 names had once hung in the original building on the site.

The church’s vicar, Revd Sally-Anne Beecham, believes it is likely to have been lost when that building was demolished.

Revd Beecham said: “It’s extraordinary to think that no-one living has ever seen the original roll of honour and its whereabouts remain a mystery.

"It very quickly became a priority for us to replace the Roll and ensure these men are forgotten no longer, especially as the majority are not remembered anywhere else in the UK.”

In 2023, Michael Orme wrote Only Remembered, a book based on his research of the 72 local men who perished. 

A local committee was also formed, led by Revd Beecham, and together they planned, designed and raised money for the replacement. 

Mr Orme said: "The writing of Only Remembered was entirely motivated by the hope that, in sharing its story with a wider audience, Birdholme's lost roll of honour might eventually be replaced.

"It should, therefore, be obvious that I am both delighted and humbled by the fact that this has now been accomplished.

"I can only express my sincerest thanks to all those volunteers who shared this vision and have done such splendid work to make it a reality.”

The Roll has now been hung in the Lady Chapel of the church following a short ceremony on Saturday, 27 April.

The Rt Revd Malcolm Macnaughton, Bishop of Repton, marked its return along with uniformed personnel representing a number of military organisations.

ss augustine roll of honour

Last modified on Friday, 10 May 2024 10:29

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