The West Lavington war memorial is mounted in St Mary Magdalene parish church, which is now redundant. It records five names for World War 1 and four for World War 2.
The War Memorial in the Church of St Mary Magdalene in West Lavington was unveiled at a special service held on 12 July 1922.
The fund-raising for the memorial had been led by the vicar, the Rev E H Johnston and a list of the subscribers survives. The largest donation, of £15/-/- , was given by R C Lucas Esq whose younger brother, Charles, was killed during the war and whose name appears on this tablet and on a separate tablet on a wall in the nave. Some 67 separate donations were received, including gifts from relatives of all those commemorated.
A Faculty for the erection of a memorial in the church was applied for following a meeting of the Parochial Church Council on 16 November 1921. The proposed memorial was to consist of “a tablet of cast bronze with ornamental laurel border executed from the design of The Birmingham Guild, 28 Berners Street, London and bearing the following inscription:-
THESE SERVED AND
DIED FOR ENGLAND
IN THE WAR 1914 – 1919
GRANT THEM O LORD ETERNAL REST.”
The Faculty was duly granted by the Bishop of Chichester and sealed on 24 January 1922. The tablet as erected lists the names of five men who died during the war and their regimental badges are also added. The memorial was placed on a pillar at the west end of the nave.
A copy of the Order of Service for the Unveiling and Dedication of the Memorial is held at the Record Office. The tablet was unveiled by Brigadier-General Dalrymple-Hay CB DSO a resident of the parish, and the Address was given by the Ven Archdeacon of Chichester, Benedict Hoskyns. At the end of the service, Last Post and Reveille were sounded by two buglers followed by the Blessing and the singing of the National Anthem.
As a small postscript the surviving accounts for the erection of the memorial show the buglers being paid 10/- for their services and that a firm of automobile engineers in Chichester were paid £1/12/- for conveying them to the service. The costs included £3/10/- for 70 sepia prints of the memorial which were given to the subscribers and relatives of the fallen. The total cost of the tablet and the associated expenses of erecting it came to £111/12/11d.
Second World War
A second memorial was placed on a pillar opposite the first to record the name of four local men who were killed in the Second World War. It also records that electricity was brought into the church in 1948 as their memorial.
Documents held at West Sussex Record Office under Par 122/4/10 and Par 122/4/7.
“The Story of St. Mary Magdalene Church”, by Robert Chandler (1987)