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St Marys Church And The Great War Connections

St Marys

St Marys Church contains reminders of the sacrifices made by the men of the village during the Great War 1914 – 1919.

The altar window inside St Mary’s depicts the ultimate sacrifice with a soldier at the feet of Christ on the cross. The other windows depict the Crosses of St George and St Cuthbert. The window was paid for through public subscription and dedicated by Bishop Moule in 1920 at the time of the dedication of the War Memorial.

St Marys Church Window

St Marys Church

The Church holds a ewer (jug) in remembrance of William Mcilwain, whoresided in Co-operative Terrace Coxhoe and was employed as a Blacksmith.  At the outbreak of WW1 he enlisted and joined the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards and embarked for France on the 16th March 1915. William was killed in action on the 4th of June 1915 and is remembered on the Le Touret Memorial in northern France.

A Prie Dieu, or prayer desk which is usually used for private prayer is dedicated to the memory of Private 6727 William Ogle Reed of 5th Seaforth Highlanders. William who resided in Blackgate, Coxhoe was killed in action on 13 November 1916, during the final days of the Battle of The Somme and is interred in Mailly Wood Cemetery, Mailly-Maillet, France.

William David Carr of Cornforth Lane was the second son of William Carr a local butcher. He joined the 13th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment and died in September 1918 during the last weeks of the war as the Allied Forces pushed the German Army back towards the River Rhine. William Carr is remembered in St Marys Church with a warden’s staff mounted with the Cross of St Cuthbert.

St Cuthbert Cross

A vase in the church serves as a reminder to the most senior serviceman to die during the conflict. Lieutenant William James Ramsay of the Royal Flying Corps, resided in West Hetton Lodge, Coxhoe. Lt WJ Ramsay was killed in a crash on 27 March 1918. He was in RE8 B5114 of 52 Sqn when it got into a side slip after take off and crashed in flames. He was the observer and the pilot was 2 Lt RD Turnell, who was also killed. They were heading out on a bombing operation, in all likelihood on the Somme bridges, as the unit had been doing this and contact work in the days preceding. The unit had moved four times in the previous week and crews that day were taking off from yet another new airfield, at Abbeville, in circumstances of the direst emergency. 
Lt Ramsay lies at rest in St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens, France.

Church Vase

The War memorial within St Marys Church is situated beneath the west window and lists 86 men who died during World War 1. Made of brass and mounted on an oak board the memorial was dedicated in 1920 by Bishop Moule, Bishop of Durham. Officers and Non commissioned officers are at the top of the board with private soldiers beneath.

War Memorial

A Roll of Honour Book, given by the Coxhoe and District Branch of the Royal British Legion, lists all those who served and died serving their country during the two World Wars.

Roll Of Honour

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