Memorials in All Saints Church
DescriptionThe first recorded church of All Saints in Wokingham was dedicated on this site between 1189 and 1193 by Hubert, Bishop of Salisbury. It was rebuilt in the early to mid 15th Century. By 1863 the building was in such a poor state that plans were laid to demolish it and replace it with a new building to be named St Mary's Church. This plan was rejected and extensive restoration was undertaken in 1863/4. This restoration included the building or re-building of the Lady Chapel and the South Aisle, which went on to house the war memorials and individual memorials to those fallen in the First World War. At the same time the ancient parish was divided into three with the churches of St. Paul and St. Sebastian being opened to serve as parish churches to the west and south.
There is a carved oak tablet with four vellum panels listing the names and units of the 123 men of the ecclesiastical parish of All Saints who died in the First World War; entitled “Our Glorious Dead 1914-1918”. This is located on the wall in the south-west corner of the Lady Chapel.
There is a Book of Remembrance displayed in a wooden glass-topped cabinet inscribed “For God-King-Country 1914-18 1939-45” containing names of the fallen of both First and Second World Wars from both the parishes of Wokingham town, All Saints and St. Paul. The five standards of the Wokingham branch of the British Legion flank this memorial. It was dedicated in October 1948 by the Bishop of Oxford just before the 30th anniversary of Armistice Day (11th November). This is located at the entrance to the Lady Chapel in the south aisle.
On the south wall of the aisle there are two individual memorial plaques to residents of the parish who were killed in the First World War; Lt. Frederic de Vere Bruce Allfrey and Coy. Sgt. Major Alfred Thomas Jeffcock killed in action 25th March 1918.
In the churchyard near the South Gate (Lych Gate) there is a memorial cross for the men of the parish fallen in the Great War, with reliefs of the crucified Christ and the Madonna and Child at the top, and verses of Holy Scripture on the base. Also in the churchyard there are 16 official war graves of which 7 relate to deaths in connection with the First World War as well as other memorial dedications to those killed in the First World War but missing or buried elsewhere.
“Memorials in All Saints Church,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed June 21, 2021, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0390.