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21 April 2018

St Leonard's Church, Aldrington - War Memorials.

Judy Middleton 2018

copyright © D. Sharp 
F.A. Crouch designed the lych-gate and it was
 erected in 1949 as a memorial to those killed in the 
Second World War. A plaque inside the structure reads:- 
'This lych gate reminds all who pass through of  the
 sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the 1939-1945 War'

copyright © D. Sharp

The War Memorial stained glass window in the north wall of St Leonard's Church depicts St Michael which sadly has been vandalised, this window was used as the focal point for Aldrington's Rolls of Honour, in the form of three framed parchment sheets commemorating men and women of the Parish who died in both World Wars, unfortunately because of damp around the vandalised window these parchments have been moved to an opposite wall.

The fine pre-Raphaelite-style stained glass window depicts St Michael wearing a purple singlet over his armour, with his unsheathed sword and a shield bearing the cross of St George. He has wings and a red halo, and his foot rests on the head of a dragon; underneath, there is the Captain of Hosts. The Bishop of Lewes unveiled the window in July 1919.

This War Memorial stained glass window was paid for by public subscription in 1919

The despicable vandalism of Aldrington’s War Memorial stained glass window has caused the small congregation much anguish, when they are already under pressure and committed to raising funds to maintain the actual structure of the building and keeping the church open. It may be many years before additional funds can be raised to repair the War Memorial's stained glass window.

Aldrington's Roll of Honour for the Great War 1914-1918 :-

copyright © D. Sharp 
The photograph shows the parchment sheet with a decorative border of deep blue, dark red, green, some tendrils, and small gold flowers, bearing the names of the 24 men from Aldrington who died in the Great War 1914-1918. 
This differs from most war memorials in that the text includes rank and battle names.

The above photograph's details:-

Aldrington's Roll of Honour for the Second World War 1939-1945 :-

 copyright © D. Sharp
The photograph shows framed in oak, parchment sheets decorated with a border of
roses, shamrocks, thistles, daffodils and gold embellishments, containing 61 names of those from Aldrington who died in the Second World War, and, unusually, there are four female names

Below the details of the above Second World War Memorial photograph, to which the designer of the parchments gave the title 'The Great War 1939-1945':-

The 100th Anniversary of the Armistice at Aldrington

The people of St Leonard’s Church were able to celebrate the anniversary in a spectacular way by ringing their famous bells. This was done after a well-attended service of remembrance at 6 p.m. Indeed so keen were bell-ringers to get started that they began to ring a peal at 6.55 p.m. instead of waiting for 7.05 p.m. which was supposed to be the time nationally

The south door was left wide open so that people could come inside even while the service was being held in the newest part of the church. When the bells started their peal, people flocked to see the stalwarts in their bell chamber pulling on the ropes, and watching them snaking upwards, one after the other. Although it was fascinating to see how it was done, the best quality of sound was to be had outside, standing in the dark and listening.

There was also an excellent display of information concerning the men from the parish who had died in the First World War. The display was embellished by photographs of their tombstones, or of the monuments where their names were recorded.

copyright © J.Middleton
St Leonard's Church, New Church Road, Aldrington, Hove.

copyright © J.Middleton
A section of 100 year Commemoration poppy display on Aldrington's seafront in 2014
'Lest we Forget'


Middleton, J Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade

St Leonard's Church History

St Leonard's Church website

Copyright © J.Middleton 2018
page layout by D. Sharp.