Forces Comforts Fund Second World War Memorial Plaque, Belper Royal British Legion, Strutt Street, Belper


War Memorials DN 007.JPG
Forces Comforts Fund Second World War Memorial Plaque, Belper Royal British Legion

INSCRIPTION:
TO THE HONOURED MEMORY OF
THOSE MEMBERS OF THIS INSTITIUTE
AND THE FORCES COMFORTS FUND
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE
WORLD WAR 1939 TO 1945

HARRY ALLSOP
JAMES E. BERESFORD
CYRIL E. BUXTON
FREDERICK GAMBLE
FREDERICK B. GOFF
GRANVILLE HALL
CHARLES E. PARKIN
ARTHUR VARNEY

AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN
AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL
REMEMBER THEM

The plaque was rescued by the Managing Director of the Derby Demolition Company in or around 1997 during the clearance of old stone buildings to the rear of St Swithun’s Church on Cow Hill in Belper. He tried in vain to find a suitable home for it at that time. It came to light again in 2012 when he contacted the Royal British Legion at Belper. This time it was collected and the Legion tried to find a site to display it. The Town Council could not make any suggestions, and the Parish Church felt that they did not want to “own” it either at St Peter’s or St Swithun’s. After making extensive enquiries, it was decided to site it in full view at the Royal British Legion as a suitable location. The eight names that appear on this bronze plaque also appear on the War Memorial in the town.

The original building was used as a Church Hall and one of its functions was to accommodate a group known as the “Fund for Forces Comforts” during the Second World War. This was mainly funded by the Smedley Family and supported soldiers from the immediate area of Cow Hill, with outings and other forms of help. The Church was built by the Hanson Family and Mrs Hanson could see this from her home on the Chevin. They also built the Lych Gate at St John’s Chapel.

The original site is now a small housing development


Sources used:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website (www.cwgc.org.uk)
Illustrated History of Belper and its Environs, by Jean Giles, George Power and Michael SmithSoldiers Died in the Second World War 1939-1945 CD ROM - Naval & Military Press
All photographs copyright of Chris Preston, unless otherwise stated