The war memorial was first dedicated 8th March 1920 – 18 months after the armistice was signed.The Suffolk Chronicle and Mercury Friday newspapers described the unveiling as ‘impressive’ scenes with a crowd being formed around the memorial and a sea of people in the churchyard. Prior to the unveiling of the memorial by Brigadier-General Massy Lloyd CBE a poignant service was held in the church by the vicar Rev Hastings Kelk. With the parish choir being joined by the Stowmarket choir a beautifully choral arrangement was sung to the congregation which included the families of the fallen.
‘Oh valiant heart’ and ‘When I survey the wondrous Cross’ and the singing of the ‘Requiem’ by the massed choirs was particularly inspiring in the solemnity of its rendering. The lesson was read by the Rev. J. Snell (Congregational Church, Stowmarket) and Mr A.E. Collins, FRCO, organist at Stowmarket Parish Church, presided at the organ.
Following the service inside the church the choir and clergyman made their way to the ‘the place’ as it was described behind the band of No.1 company Stowmarket Scouts.
The following the fanfare of bugles and the rolling of the drums the Brigadier-General performed the unveiling. Below is what was said.
“This cross which I have just unveiled to the memory of twenty-nine men of Haughley is for all Christian men and women the great
symbol of sacrifice and I am glad that it stands here in clear view of every passer-by to remind us in years to come of the sacrifice made by these, our comrades in brethren in our time of need. In a few years this cross will become a familiar object, something that many of us will see every day of our lives. I hope that its familiarity may never serve to lessen our sense of gratitude to and reverence for these brave men who yielded up not some little thing, not even some big thing, but everything, even life itself. I hope that it may never cease to inspire us in our daily life, and in a smaller way, to follow their glorious example of self sacrifice, and by so doing, to assist in the realisation of the ideal for which they died.” – Brigadier-General Massy Lloyd CBE
Following the blessing the bugles sounded the reveille followed by the first verse of the National Anthem which concluded a magnificent service.
Architect: Mr J Crowe of Lincoln’s Inn
Builders: Benfield and Loxley, of Oxford.
Brigadier-General Massy Lloyd CBE
The choir and clergyman
The clergyman and congregation
Original names subscribed. Note the Regiment is subscribed aswell.
The original cross carved with Mary and Joseph