|Trumpington Local History Group
Percy Robinson's Report on the
War Memorial, Early 1920s
|Copyright © Trumpington Local History Group, 2018. Updated 5 December 2018.
|Unveiling the War Memorial, 11 December 1921. Percy
At a meeting of the Parish Council held on _____ the subject of perpetuating the memory of the
men of Trumpington who gave their lives in the Great War was discussed. It was decided to call
a meeting of Parishioners to ascertain their desires, and a sub-committee of three, Messrs. C.
Forbes, T. H. J. Porter, and P. R. Robinson, was appointed to arrange necessary details for the
The meeting was held on Thursday, 8th May, 1919, in the Village Hall. Mr. T. H. J. Porter was
elected chairman. The meeting decided that a War Memorial should be erected, and appointed a
committee to consider suggestions and report again to the Parishioners. The following
suggestions were put forward:-
1. That a handsome tablet of some imperishable material be placed in the Church.
2. A memorial cross be placed in the New Churchyard.
3. A cross be erected on the Cross Hill.
4. A plain obelisk be erected on the Cross Hill.
5. A clock tower and shelter be erected on the Cross Hill.
6. A memorial be placed in a garden with tennis courts and other space for the furtherance of
7. In combination with the visible memorial some scheme whereby assistance could be given to
the disabled, or dependents of the fallen men should be assisted educationally.
A long interval elapsed before the next meeting, which was held on 24th June, 1920, but it was
explained by the chairman that the reason was because the committee was so anxious to obtain
something worthy of the men and the village.
Two models, one of a cross and one an obelisk, were on view, also the drawing for a plaque.
The meeting decided in favour of the cross and that it should be erected on the Cross Hill. The
committee was instructed to raise the necessary funds and proceed with the memorial.
The next meeting was held on 15th November, 1921, when the proposed programme for the
Dedication and Unveiling was approved.
The final meeting was held on 24th October, 1923, when the balance sheet for the Memorial
was placed before the parishioners and adopted. The Balance Sheet is as follows:-
The accounts were audited 1st August, 1922 and showed a balance of £19 .. 18 .. 3 , but interest
raised the amount to £20 .. 13 .. 8 on 30th June, 1923.
The meeting resolved "That the Trumpington Parish Council be asked to accept on behalf of the
Parishioners, the Trumpington War Memorial as a sacred trust, with the following conditions:
(a) To accept the balance of the War Memorial Account in hand, viz. £20 .. 13 .. 8, which shall
be deposited at a Bank (Lloyd's) as a separate account in the name of the Trumpington Parish
Council War Memorial Account.
(b) The money to be utilized solely to preserve the Memorial.
(c) A yearly statement of accounts to be submitted to the Parish Meeting at the same time that
the Charity Accounts are presented.
(d) No alterations or additions to be made to the existing Memorial without the consent of a
Votes of thanks were passed to the committee and officers for the work so generously
The outstanding and dominating feature that pervaded the whole of the meetings was the desire
to obtain something that was worthy of the men and an ornament to the village.
The Parish Council accepted the charge of the Memorial and balance on the above terms at a
meeting held on [24 October 1923].
Eight hundred copies of the Ceremony of Unveiling and Dedication were printed.
Of the total subscriptions the Pemberton Family contributed over £200.
TRUMPINGTON WAR MEMORIAL
The Memorial, which is of Portland stone, consists of a shaft fourteen feet six inches high,
surmounted by a cross with a monogram K.R. (Greek initial letters of Christos) in the middle,
standing upon a base four feet square, on a flight of three steps. The whole monument is
nineteen feet in height.
|Following his appointment as Head Teacher of the Church School in
1908, Percy Robinson built up an extensive knowledge of Trumpington's
history. One of his individual notes from the 1920s is about the War
Memorial, reproduced below.
|Cross Hill, the War Memorial and Church Lane in
the 1920s. Percy Robinson collection.
|The names are inscribed in Roman letters in panels on the four sides of the shaft, this position
being chosen as the most honourable, for the monument is primarily a cross (the emblem of
sacrifice) , with the base a subordinate feature, merely for the purpose of supporting the cross.
The names appear in the following order:-
|Below the name panels are four carved panels, these representing St. Mary and St. Michael (the
patron saints of the parish) , St. George (the patron saint of England), and in the fourth the figure
of a soldier. These carved panels have been executed with a view to Symbolism rather than
St. Michael slaying the Dragon is represented on the East side. In this case the Dragon is the
Devil in the form of a monster, having the body of a woman and the tail of a serpent. This
combination suggests that though the devil always appears in the most attractive form, he never
wears a complete disguise. Various vices are indicated, especially unbelief (non est Deus); deceit
(the serpent); avarice (the breasts with mouths instead of nipples, for he devours and gives no
nourishment). The flames behind show his chosen element. St. Michael, a winged figure with
flowing hair, whose name in Hebrew signifies the question, "Who is like unto God?" (quis ut
Deus) is thrusting the sword of Truth into the mouth of unbelief.
On the North side is depicted St. George slaying the Dragon who would destroy Religion, i.e. St.
George the Christian Champion. The hand of God appears in the sky in the attitude of blessing.
The woman represents the Church, which is tied to the tree representing the earth.
On the West side appears St. Mary with the babe in the cradle. The Lily on the shelf is the
emblem of Purity.
On the South side is the figure of a soldier, very tired and heavily burdened, walking towards the
setting sun, i.e. going West. The arm almost touching the ground is typical of his worn out
strength, whilst the fingers, being straight, convey the idea of discipline and the tired mind
endeavouring to overcome the physical wreck. The broken and splintered tree stumps show the
havoc of warfare.
The base has three panels on each side. On the East side the inscription is as follows:-
MEN OF TRUMPINGTON WHO
1914 GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE 1918
In the centre panel on the West side are the words :-
FOR LIBERTY AND JUSTICE.
Scanned from Percy Robinson's original typescript by Howard Slatter.
See the separate page for additional information about the War Memorial.