This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Lutterworth War Memorial – and on October 3rd there will be a special event to mark the occasion. Lutterworth City Council looks back on how the town got its war memorial with an article written by Andy Ward.
How Lutterworth got his war memorial
100 years ago, like so many towns and villages, Lutterworth was undecided as to what form his war memorial would take.
Some had opted for useful and practical War Memorials, others for symbolic monuments. Various meetings were held at Lutterworth and the Memorial, as we see it today, was considered the most appropriate.
The gardens were built on the site of a large house which was demolished.
In addition to providing the city with a memorial garden, it also opened the corner of Church Street to facilitate a better view of George Street for an ever-increasing amount of traffic passing through the city.
Waller Bedingfield, a prominent architect living on Bitteswell Road and deeply involved in the affairs of Lutterworth, offered to design the memorial for free.
He had been president of the parish council at the start of World War I and has maintained his commitment ever since. If Waller Bedingfield was the obvious choice to design the National War Memorial, Peter Rourke, who had built so many recent residential developments in Lutterworth, was the obvious person to carry out the work. His son, Thomas, had served in Leicestershire Yeomanry, winning the Military Cross. So the contract was signed in the spring of 1921 and Peter Rourke charged £ 120.00 for the work.
The unveiling took place on a hot summer day, Tuesday May 24, 1921, and was well attended by the locals. The Earl of Denbigh officiated and delivered a speech to the assembled crowd.
The city has grown and grown considerably over the past 100 years, but the war memorial and its gardens have remained roughly the same during this period and the annual act of remembrance takes place here every year.
Due to the pandemic, the actual commemoration had to be slightly delayed. However, on Sunday October 3, Lutterworth City Council, in partnership with the Royal British Legion and the Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club, will host an event to mark the anniversary.