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Harlington War Memorial

War Memorial Z384-10

Harlington War Memorial, early 1920s [Z384/10]

The Harlington war memorial stands near to the Church at the junction of Westoning Road, Station Road and Church Road. It includes the names of men who served in the First World War, including 24 who were killed, and the names of another three men who were killed in the Second World War. The Bedfordshire Times published the following description of the unveiling of the memorial on 9th May 1920: 

“The unveiling of the War Memorial took place on Sunday afternoon. Toddington Brass Band being in attendance, together with Troops of Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, and about 1,000 people. The granite cross stands prominently on a concrete base in the Square in the centre of the village, on land given by Mrs. Lye. The service opened with “O God our help,” after which Major Gordon Shaw unveiled the cross, which was then dedicated by the Rev. A. G. Hodgson (Vicar). Major Gordon Shaw stated that it was 21 years since he had lived at Harlington Manor. His elder brother was killed on the Somme in 1914, and his sailor cousin, Mr. Abercrombie, who was also remembered at Harlington, went down at Jutland. Major Shaw himself lost his leg in the latter days of the war. There were 105 names on the stone, of whom 24 had laid down their lives. The hymn, “Fight the good fight,” was heartily sung, and the Vicar offered prayers in commemoration of the departed. The Last Post was sounded by buglers from the 1st Toddington Scouts, and the names of the departed read by the Vicar. About 20 beautiful floral tributes were placed round the base. The Rev. R. Lang, of the Wesleyan Church, gave an address in which he drew attention with pleasure to the fact that no distinction was made between the names on the cross. The hymns “Thou to whom the sick and dying”, “Onward Christian Soldiers”, and “For all the Saints” followed, and a collection was taken, and realised £27. 1s. At a united service in the Parish Church in the evening, a further £4. 10s was collected, making a total for the weekend of £97. 13s. 0d., including over £60, the proceeds of a draw on Saturday, and a subscription of £5 from the Vicar. It is proposed that the surplus go to a maintenance fund for the cross. The work has been carried out admirably by the Committee, Messrs. J. F. Denton (secretary), A. Odell (treasurer), J. N. Godfrey (chairman), the Rev. A. G. Hodgson, N. G. Thomas, F. Coley, L. Justice, J. Denton, G. Cleaver, W. G. Gazeley, C. Ashby, J. Lane, J. Giles and F. Saunders.” 

War Memorial Z384-37

Dedication of the Harlington War Memorial 9th May 1920 [Z384/37]

The Vicar of Harlington, Rev. A. G. Hodgson, compiled a memorial booklet which was published in January 1921. This includes biographical notes and photographs of parishioners who lost their lives. Extracts providing a sample of the booklet’s contents can be read here

Sources held in the Archives: 

  • P75/0/24: Miscellaneous correspondence including letters about war memorial, 1918-19 
  • P75/28/5: Letter to Re. A G Hodgson regarding war memorial, 19 April !920 
  • P75/28/14: ‘The Great War 1914-1919 – Men of Harlington, Bedfordshire’, printed booklet containing biographical notes and photographs of parishioners who lost their lives during the War, 1921 
  • PCHarlington 24/1: Correspondence regarding maintenance of war memorial 1966-1971