Iping & Chithurst war memorial

The memorial in the Parish Church of St Mary, Ipimg
The memorial in the Parish Church of St Mary, Ipimg

The main War Memorial for the parish of Iping and Chithurst is in the south eastern corner of the nave of the Parish Church of St Mary. Here there is what is referred to in the Vestry Minutes as a ‘War Shrine’ consisting of a carved wooden triptych surmounted by a broken pediment and wooden cross. On this are listed the names of sixteen men from the Great War and two from World War II with the texts “The souls of the righteous are in the Hand of God”, “Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints” on the two side panels. Beneath the names it states: “These men of the parishes of Iping and Chithurst gave their lives for their country in the Great War 1914 – 1918” and the text “Grant them O Lord, Eternal Rest and let light perpetual shine upon them”.

The Vestry had resolved to apply for a Faculty for the erection of this shrine as early as March 1918 and also for the erection of a Memorial Tablet in Iping Marsh Church (see below).

There are two World War 1 burials in the churchyard which are now illegible. One is probably that of William James Newman who was buried here after dying of illness in hospital in Wiltshire. The other may be that of Montague Clue who died in September 1919 and whose name was recorded at Iping Marsh church.

Also buried in the churchyard here was the body of a German prisoner of war, one Vahle Walther (17630 Prisoner of War) who died in November 1918 at the age of 28. He had been working at Iping House presumably as a farm labourer. In 1921 the PCC minutes reported that the wooden cross marking his grave was in a state of disrepair and the Rector agreed to try to obtain a new cross to replace it. The body was formally removed from the churchyard in 1962.

Iping Marsh Church

The Church of the Good Shepherd was erected in the north of the parish of Iping and opened in 1878. It was a small building that was progressively less used and in 1977 it was closed. The church was declared redundant in 1980 and subsequently demolished.

According to the Vestry Minutes for 25 April 1918, a Memorial Tablet was erected in this church by Miss H. Scrimgeour in memory of Jim Newman.

In April 1920, the Parochial Church Council was discussing the question of a War Memorial when the Rector reported that he had the offer of a small pipe organ which would be an improvement on the instrument then used at Iping Marsh Church. After viewing the instrument the Council agreed to offer £35 for the organ and to fund this by means of a house-to-house collection in the parish. This collection raised £24/16/8d and a further £6/2/- was added from a previous collection. The existing harmonium at Chithurst church was sold and the harmonium from Iping Marsh Church was moved there. Over £40 was eventually raised to fund the cost of the organ and its installation in Iping Marsh church with an oak panel on it giving the names of the men who had fallen in the war.

The parish magazine for June 1920 records that a service of dedication of the new organ and memorial tablet was held on 4 June 1920 in the presence of the Venerable Archdeacon Hoskyns. It was reported that “the gilt-lettered inscription on the pipe organ reads:-

1914-18

The parishioners of Iping and Chithurst dedicate this organ in grateful remembrance and to the glorious memory of Percy Albery, Harry John Boniface, Sidney Brown, Charles Bulpitt, George Cook, Francis Duley DCM, Eli Enticknapp, Walter Feltham, Montague Clue, A. Fitzgeorge Hamilton, William James Hickman, Arthur Maitland King, William Lamb, Albert Mills, Jim Newman, Arthur Parrott, Walter Woods.”

It should be noted that these names differ slightly from those on the main Iping Memorial in that the names of Montague Clue and Jim Newman are added whilst that of Sidney Newman is omitted.

Montague Clue and Jim Newman are both buried in war graves in the south-east part of the Iping Marsh cemetery.

Iping & Chithurst’s World War 1 casualties

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project