St Paul’s Church Memorial
DescriptionSt Paul’s Church was built in 1864 due to the rapid growth of Wokingham after the railway came. It was funded by John Walter of Bear Wood, who owned the Times Newspaper. The Church was 50 years old in 1914, and is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2014.
The War Memorial lists 62 men who died from the Parish. There are nine pairs of brothers commemorated, and three sons from the Potter family. The Memorial is a large alabaster tablet positioned near the font, facing the front of the Church.
In June 1921, according to the Parish Magazine, the Rector was trying to finalise the names to be included. A list was on display in the Church porch and he was appealing for information on men called Whiting (who is included) and Wickens (who is not).
The Memorial was unveiled on Sunday the 22nd of January 1922 by Lt-Col Villiers of the Royal Horse Guards. He should, he said, never forget sleeping in a field at Bear Wood in 1914 when first mobilised, within sight of the church wherein they were now assembled; a regiment of young Englishmen drawn from every station in life, full of hope and eagerness to see service for their country. Many of them laid down their lives for their country. None remained behind, and they were all of the same type as those Wokingham lads whose memory they and their children would honour for all time. There could be no doubt that if the necessity again rose, and the call was made upon the manhood of the country, the young men of St. Paul’s Parish would again come forward.
Mrs Potter, who lost three sons of the six who served in the War, then laid a laurel wreath beneath the tablet. Another wreath was placed by Miss Finer in memory of “Six lads of my Bible Class,” and Mrs. Stokes placed a sheaf of lilies in memory of her son. There are also seven War Graves in the Churchyard, most of them of aircrew, all of them from the Second World War.
“St Paul’s Church Memorial,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed April 6, 2020, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0398.