HM Lord Lieutenant visits Berkhamsted's new War Memorial at Rectory Lane Cemetery

Dedication of the new War Memorial

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 4:10 pm

The HM Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire visited Berkhamsted's new War Memorial at Rectory Lane Cemetery for its service of dedication.

The Royal British Legion invited HM Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Mr. Robert Voss CBE to the service of dedication at the new War Memorial earlier this month.

Friends of St Peter’s Great Berkhamsted - a charity that was formed to support the work of maintaining and enhancing St Peter's Church and the churchyards - secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund to carry out a major three-year programme to transform Rectory Lane Cemetery from ‘a dead space to a living place’.

HM Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Mr. Robert Voss CBE

Part of the project was to erect a new War Memorial dedicated to all War Dead and on Saturday, September 4, a service of dedication was held to formalise the successful outcome of this major project.

Students from Berkhamsted School, and their instructors, formed an honour guard to greet HM Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Mr. Robert Voss CBE, CSt.J, Air Marshall Sir Michael Simmons, Colonel Ed Heal O/C Northwood HQ, Gagan Mohindra MP for South West Hertfordshire, Cllr Terry Douris (Chair of Hertfordshire Heroes the Armed Forces Covenant Board in Herts) and the Town Mayor.

At the service prayers and bible readings were read out, and there was a dedication of the memorial before the wreath-laying.

The dedication was essentially an Act of Remembrance and as the wreaths were being laid, some students read out the list of the local War Dead.

HM Lord Lieutenant visits Berkhamsted's new War Memorial at Rectory Lane Cemetery

This new monument replaces an earlier, much more modest memorial which was positioned just inside the Rectory Lane entrance.

It was felt therefore that, with the creation of the Garden of Remembrance and Memorial Walls there was an opportunity to install a new monument more worthy of the sacrifices made by the men, and which would more properly represent all those eligible to be listed.

This new monument has 50 names on it – all of these people served in one of the two World Wars, were wounded and died within a specified period of time.

Importantly, they are all actually buried within the Cemetery itself, and some have CWGC monuments.

The parade at Rectory Lane Cemetery Berkhamsted

The list was reached through exhaustive research undertaken by one of the project genealogists, Janice Boakes who checked census material, military records and newspaper archives, to arrive at this number.

Dedication of the new War Memorial