Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence


Lest We Forget

British Legion
The Royal British Legion

BEDFORD - Bedfordshire Boer War Memorial

Compiled & Copyright © Martin Edwards 2000

Photograph Courtesy & Copyright © NIWM 2001
Photograph from an old postcard 1904
Photograph from an old postcard - Unveiling the War Memorial 2nd June 1904

Photographs Copyright © Martin Edwards 2001

The Memorial stands outside the Swan Hotel across the road from the Embankment beside the River Ouse. It was unveiled on 2 June 1904. The memorial was made by Messrs. Farmer and Brindley, of Westminster Bridge Road, London. It represents the figure of an infantry soldier in khaki service dress, and in heavy marching order, but standing easy and holding a magazine rifle at rest in front. The figure bears on the back a valise, canteen, and coat rolled, with water bottle, haversack, and bayonet at side, two cartridge pouches on belt, and wears a helmet, putties, and boots. It is larger than life size, and apparently stands over six feet. The face represents a good-looking young man, with moustache, and pleasing expression. The general effect is that of a soldierly figure in a restful attitude. There are bronze panels, bearing in raised letters the names of 230 fallen Bedfordshire men affixed to the four sides of the sides of the pedestal.

An alphabetical list of the men which contains more detail is on-line .

TO THE MEMORY OF
THE OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE
BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENTS AND OF
BEDFORDSHIRE MEN SERVING IN
OTHER BRANCHES OF THE IMPERIAL
FORCES WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE
SOUTH AFRICAN CAMPAIGN AND
WHOSE NAMES ARE HEREON RECORDED.
THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED BY
PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION IN THE COUNTY.
WAR DECLARED OCTOBER 8TH 1899
PEACE PROCLAIMED JUNE 1ST 1902

Panel 1

OFFICERS

WALKER

MAJOR

R A MED CORPS

MILLS

CAPTAIN

2ND BN RIF BRIG

WALDY

CAPTAIN

2ND BN BEDF R

BYRNE

LIEUT

3RD BN BEDF R

DILLON

LIEUT

4TH BN RIF BRIG

DOBBIE

LIEUT

S A C

HARRIS

LIEUT

2nd BN R IR FUS

HEMINGWAY

LIEUT

MENNES SCOUTS

JONES

LIEUT AND ADJT

8TH HUSSARS

PAXTON

2ND LIEUT

2ND BN BEDF R

SELOUS

LIEUT

2ND BN BEDF R

STRONG

LIEUT D.S.O

2ND BN BEDF R

WILMER

LIEUT

2ND BN BEDF R

NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS

MASTERSON

SERGT

2ND BN BEDF R

THORBY

SERGT

2ND BN BEDF R

FOSTER

SERGT

MIDDX R

WEST

L-SERGT

19TH HUSSARS

COX

CPL

2ND BN BEDF R

MURRAY

CPL

2ND BN BEDF R

NICHOLLS

CPL

2ND BN BEDF R

SILLS

CPL

3RD BN BEDF R

STANNARD

CPL

2ND BN BEDF R

TENNANT

CPL

COMPTONíS HORSE

WILLIAMS

CPL

2ND BN BEDF R

HAYES

CPL

A S CORPS

MCEWAN

CPL

PAGETíS HORSE

PEGG

CPL

R E

ROE

CPL

R F A

BANTOCK

L-CPL

2ND BN BEDF R

BARRINGHAM

L-CPL

2ND BN BEDF R

BURNS

L-CPL

2ND BN BEDF R

CAPPELL

L-CPL

OXF L I

CROFTS

L-CPL

CAPETOWN HIGHRS

Panel 2

NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS

ELLINGHAM

L-CPL

SUFF R

EVERITT

L-CPL

G GUARDS

HARVIE

L-CPL

2ND BN BEDF R

LAMB

L-CPL

2ND BN BEDF R

LEE

L-CPL

3RD BN BEDF R

MCNULTY

L-CPL

2ND BN BEDF R

MURFIN

L-CPL

DEVON R

PRESSLAND

L-CPL

K R RIF CORPS

TELFER

L-CPL

2ND BN BEDF R

YOUNG

L-CPL

2ND SCO RIF

EVANS

BOMBARDIER

R G A

PRIVATES

1ST BN BEDF R

FRANKLIN A

|

TWELVETREE H

HOWES J

|

 

2ND BN BEDF R

ABBISS F

|

HOWE W

ALDRIDGE A

|

HURLEY T

ALDRIDGE J

|

KING W

ANDREWS G

|

LACEY J

ANDREWS W

|

LIVINGS A

ARMITAGE A

|

MAYNARD E

ASHPOLE J

|

MCGILL T

BATTEY W

|

MEAD W

BAVIN W

|

NEWMAN T

BELLAMY F

|

NORTON C

BLUNT G

|

NUNN J

BRIGHT A

|

PARKER A

BULLARD F

|

PARKER R

BURLEY T

|

PARKINS W

BURROWS J

|

RAMSEY S

CANNON E

|

SANDIFER J

CAULDREY A

|

SAVAGE W

CONSTABLE F

|

SHEPHERD H

CROOK W

|

SIVITER A

CROUCHER G

|

SMITH F

CURL C

|

SMITH H

DILLON F

|

STEPHENS T

DIMERY W

|

SUMNALL A

DUX W

|

SWAIN J

EDWARDS J

|

SWALES T

ELMER A

|

THORN T

ENDERSBY J

|

TROWELL J

FEARY B

|

TRUEMAN W

FINCHER J

|

WALLACE A

FURNEYHAUGH W

|

WARD H

GARDINER E

|

WARD J

GLASS G

|

WESTBROOK E

GREAVES W

|

WHITE W

GREY J

|

WILSHER J

HALES H

|

WILSON W

HALSEY F

|

WRIGHT W

HENSMAN W

|

YOUNG H

HOOKER C

|

 

Panel 3

PRIVATES

3RD BN BEDF R

ASKHAM J

|

GREGORY A

BARRATT W

|

GROOM A

BERRINGTON F

|

HATTON F

BARTON H

|

TAYLOR F

DRAPER F

|

WEST W

FOUNTAIN H

|

 

PRIVATES

4TH BN BEDF R

ABBOTT T

|

GRAY HARRY

ASHWELL S

|

GRAY HENRY

ATKINS G

|

GUEST J

BATCHELOR J

|

HILL A

BIGG F

|

HILLS W

BLACKWELL A

|

HOOKER F

BONE A

|

KURSTENSON N

BUTLER G

|

REED J

CLARK J

|

ROGERS L

CURTIS J

|

SAVILLE C

DOLLIMORE F

|

SIMMONDS C

FLETCHER J

|

SURRIDGE E

FORD C

|

THOMPSON E

GAME A

|

TYLER J

GIBBS G

|

WARD A

ARTHUR S

 

3RD BN NORTHíN R

BULL J

 

3RD BN NORTHíN R

DUNKLEY A

 

3RD BN NORTHíN R

ADAMS H

 

1ST VOL BN BEDF R

BOYDEN E

 

1ST VOL BN BEDF R

MORLEY F

 

1ST VOL BN BEDF R

OSBORNE E

 

1ST VOL BN BEDF R

VALENTINE H

 

1ST VOL BN BEDF R

BURRAGE O

 

2ND VOL BN BEDF R

DUNHAM H

 

2ND VOL BN BEDF R

OSBONE A

 

2ND VOL BN BEDF R

POCOCK W

 

2ND VOL BN BEDF R

ANDERSON H

 

3RD VOL BN BEDF R

ANDERSON J

 

3RD VOL BN BEDF R

BRADLEY A

 

3RD VOL BN BEDF R

FIELD G

 

3RD VOL BN BEDF R

GOODMAN A

 

3RD VOL BN BEDF R

ABBOTT G

 

RHODESIA HORSE

ALLWOOD A

 

R E

BAILEY G

 

G GUARDS

BAKER A

 

R F A

BANKS B

 

A O C

BELLAMY A

 

K R RIF CORPS

BOYCE A

 

LIC R

BRYANT B

 

K R RIF CORPS

BROWN A

 

E KENT R

CASE R

 

LUMSDENíS HORSE

Panel 4

PRIVATES

CHANCE

S

7TH D C

CHESHIRE

C

R E

CHESHIRE

E

SEA HIGHRS

COLE

C

IMP YEO

CRAWLEY

J

R INNIS FUS

CROXTON

H

COMPTONíS HORSE

DAY

W

D OF CORN L I

DRAPPER

P

COMPTONíS HORSE

ELGY

A W

COMPTONíS HORSE

FENSOME

A

G GUARDS

FERRAND

A

COMPTONíS HORSE

FORRESTER

J

PAGETíS HORSE

FRANKLIN

J

MIDDX R

GENTLE

J

G GUARDS

GOFF

J

4TH K R RIFíS

HALLWORTH

J

4TH K R RIFíS

HAMILTON

C

COMPTONíS HORSE

HIBBERT

F

A S C

HOGGINGS

J

R G A

HUNTER

G

E SURREY R

HUTCHINS

J

13TH HUSSARS

INWARDS

R

G GUARDS

JOHNSON

G

IMP YEO

KEMPSTER

C

NORTHíN R

LOVELL

J

R F A

LUMMUS

J

R E

MARLOW

G

K R RIF CORPS

MAYES

E

DEVON R

MCGEORGE

B

A S C

NEWMAN

W

RIF BRIG

PAYNE

W

R A M C

POWERS

P

I L H

RABBITT

F

R A M C

RIDER

J

R F A

ROBERTS

W

W RID R

ROBINSON

E

R F A

SHARPIN

H

PAGETíS HORSE

SOUTHBEER

W

COMPTONíS HORSE

STAIRS

A

RIF BRIG

SQUIRE

A

C-IN-CíS BODY GUARD

STANBRIDGE

H

RIF BRIG

STEVENS

H

IMP YEO

STOKES

J

2ND D G

TRING

W

ARG & SUTHíD HIGHRS

TYSOE

A

1ST BN RIF BRIG

VIDAL

C

COMPTONíS HORSE

WARNER

A

RIF BRIG

WHEATLEY

F

19TH HUSSARS

WARREN

C

COMPTONíS HORSE

WILD

B

A S C

YARROW

A

RIF BRIG

Extracts from local papers of the time:

Luton Times and Advertiser - Friday 03 June 1904, page 5:

Bedfordshire South African War Memorial.

UNVEILING OF THE MONUMENT AT BEDFORD.

Thursday (yesterday) was a big day at Bedford, being the occasion of the unveiling of the monument erected on the square in front of the Swan Hotel in memory of the Bedfordshire men who lost their lives in the South African War. In order that the day might partake of the character a general holiday, aquatic sports and a procession of decorated boats on the river were arranged, as also minstrel entertainments from a raft in the river, while the pretty riverside gardens of St. Mary's were illuminated in the evening. Being early closing day, the townspeople turned out en masse in honour of the occasion, and many visitors were attracted to the town by reason of the visit of the Bedfordshire. Militia and Imperial Yeomanry, who were joined by the local Volunteer Detachment, and a contingent of the Bedfords from Colchester. The Elementary Schools by order of the Board Education, were granted a holiday in the afternoon. A committee, of which the Mayor is president, also organised a collection for the National Lifeboat Fund throughout the day.

The procession of boats the river was very pretty, and was headed by a steam launch, on which the Mayor and Corporation embarked. The decorated craft included two boats manned by the Volunteer Fire Brigade, two by the Bohemian Concert Party, and one each representing the Town, Grammar, and Modern School Rowing Clubs, while a large number of private owners put on some very tastefully decorated boats. These assembled between the Shire Hall and the Britannia Ironworks. The aquatic sports off the Embankment included a polo match and a team race between Cambridge University and Bedford, the Volunteer Band playing on a decorated raft. The Bohemian Minstrel Troupe gave performances on a raft from 2.30 to 4 p.m., and the Embankment and river was thronged during these proceedings.

THE UNVEILING CEREMONY.

On Thursday the streets presented an animated appearance, and crowds thronged the thoroughfares; soldiers in brilliant uniforms and Yeomen dressed in khaki mingled with the spectators until the hour of the ceremony—three o'clock—drew near.

About 750 of the men the Bedfordshire Militia, now encamped at Ampthill, were conveyed to Bedford by two special trains. Squads of the Bedfordshire. Yeomanry, also in camp for their annual training, at Old Warden, as well as contingents of the 1st and 2nd Bedfordshire. Regiment, and of the Volunteers, were present. The members of the Beds County Police, who had served in the South African war, were also on parade. Amongst the many officers present were Lieut.-Colonel Shuttleworth, Lord Alwyne Compton, Major Brooks, Captain C. P. Hall, Captain Graham, and Lieut. S. J. Green.

The military and the police guarded the square front of the Swan Hotel. Nearly every man wore a medal, testifying to his patriotism and the service he had rendered his country.

It was a magnificent spectacle. The brilliant uniforms and plumes of the officers, the prancing steeds and glittering lances of the Yeomanry, and the large concourse of civilians thronged on the town bridge crossing the river, made up a scene that will long be remembered.

Within the enclosure congregated some of the most distinguished residents the county.

Punctual to the hour, the Countess Cowper (who came to unveil the statue on behalf of Earl Cowper) drove up, closely followed by his Grace the Duke Bedford (wearing the insignia of the Garter), and the Duchess of Bedford, who had travelled their motor car. The High Sheriff (Mr. W. H. Allen) had arrived earlier, also had the Mayor of Bedford (wearing his robes), the Clerk of the Peace, and other county officials.

On the scarlet carpet at the foot of the statue stood the Countess Cowper, the Duke of Bedford, Bishop Macrorie, and the High Sheriff.

THE DUKE BEDFORD, in opening the proceedings, and addressing the military present, said they all regretted that the Lord Lieutenant (Earl Cowper) was unfortunately prevented from being present that afternoon. It was a circumstance which they all regretted. His Grace said he had, however, as Chairman of the Bedfordshire. Soldiers' Memorial Committee, requested Lady Cowper to represent the Lord Lieutenant and unveil that memorial to 230 of their soldier comrades. Then, turning to the Countess Cowper, the Duke begged her Ladyship that she would order the ceremony proceed.

The Countess bowed, and at a signal from the Duke, the Band of the 2nd Bedfordshire. Regiment played Chopin's Funeral March. This was followed by three rolls of the drum, after which Bishop Macrorie read appropriate prayers.

The bugles then sounded the “Last Post,” and the troops presented arms to the memory of the dead.

THE COUNTESS COWPER having pulled the cord and unveiled the statue, amid much cheering, then addressed the large gathering as follows: Ladies and gentlemen, may I first claim your attention and explain that Earl Cowper is unable to be present, and I am here only to represent him on this occasion. It was a great and bitter disappointment to him when he found he would not able be here to-day. For six weeks he has been suffering from very serious attack of illness, and he has not yet been able to put his foot to the ground. Therefore, it is practically impossible for him to be here to-day. He begged to be sure and tell you how much disappointed and how much he regretted his inability to be here on this important occasion. What could be nearer to our hearts than the unveiling of this statue? I personally regret Earl Cowper’s absence, because it is impossible that any words of mine can ever be worthy of such occasion. This statue, I take it, ladies and gentlemen, is not a portrait of any one man; it is rather a type of what all Englishmen and Englishwomen are justly proud—the man who served his country and his Sovereign, the British soldier, of whom we have a right, too, be so proud. Moreover, it is a type of those who have not made that splendid profession their own, but who on the occasion of stress and when more help was needed, came forward and left their dear ones and families to join those who had gone before, and who stood shoulder to shoulder with their fellows in the fight. Ladies and gentlemen, we all remember those dark days three years ago, when heard the call to arms, and the extraordinary and astonishing rapidity with which regiments were formed. We have every right to be proud of our soldiers. Moreover, the statue is a type of those men who take their lives in their hands and who go forth to the struggle and fight and face death, which comes to all, it must sometimes of necessity come in this way; they are men who, I say, bravely and willingly die heroes' deaths. This statue will stand here for the ages, reminding us of the heroes who were not behind their fellows in their willingness to do and die. And those old words, written so many centuries ago of heroes, will apply to these heroes also: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." (Loud cheers).

THE HIGH SHERIFF then expressed the thanks the Memorial Committee to Lady Cowper for representing the Lord Lieutenant, whose absence they all deeply regretted, as it was Earl Cowper who had taken the initiative in the movement. However, they could get no one more appropriate to unveil the memorial than Lady Cowper. Her name was a household word this county and the next, and they all knew something of how she identified herself with the families of fallen soldiers; she had associated herself with this noble and magnificent work. That monument had not been inspired by the artist; it was an actual fact that had taken place in the great struggle in South Africa. The memorial would stand there for many years, bearing testimony to the brave deeds done by some of their countrymen, and would warm the hearts of men for generation after generation. (Applause).

The bands then played the National Anthem, after which the troops marched past, and the ceremony concluded.

THE MONUMENT.

The bronze statue, which arrived by the Midland Railway, was delivered at the Swan Square on Monday morning, consigned from Messrs. Farmer and Brindley, of Westminster Bridge-road, London. It represents the figure of an infantry soldier in khaki service dress, and in heavy marching order, but standing easy and holding a magazine rifle at rest in front. The figure bears on the back a valise, canteen, and coat rolled, with water bottle, haversack, and bayonet at side, two cartridge pouches on belt, and wears a helmet, putties, and boots. It is larger than life size, and apparently stands over six feet. The face represents a good-looking young man, with moustache, and pleasing expression. The general effect is that of a soldierly figure in a restful attitude, and as a work of art it stands a worthy memorial of the part that the Bedfordshires played in the war.

There are bronze panels, bearing in raised letters the names of 230 fallen Bedfordshire heroes affixed to the four sides of the surbase of the pedestal. On each side of the square base which the statue stands appear the words, "South Africa, 1899 —1902."

Bedfordshire Mercury - Friday 03 June 1904, page 10:

THE SOLDIERS' MEMORIAL UNVEILED

Whatever opinion one may have of War in general, and the late South African campaign in particular, no one with a spark of English spirit would wish to withhold honour from those who at the call of duty laid down their lives for their country; and while things are as they are we shall no doubt at intervals—long ones, we hope—have the melancholy pleasure of showing in a practical manner the respect and love we feel for those whose lives are the forfeit of often petty squabbles or greed of gain amongst those above them. Bedford citizens have always been prompt showing that they are Englishmen to the backbone, and it was with the utmost pride that they particularly followed the doings of those connected with the neighbourhood during that campaign, as well those of the Army in general; and to those whose good fortune it was to return they manifested in no stinted manner the appreciation they felt as well as their delight at seeing friends and comrades once again. But hundreds were left never to return; it is the soldier’s duty to obey, and when the order to charge is given, or the storming of heights undertaken, forth they into the grim and deadly work, with hearts willing to do and dare for good old England; and ere the bugles ring out to cease firing many are laid low, either dead or dying, and England knows them no more. Their memory, however, is ever green, and though it is not necessary to keep it so by visible tokens of bronze or stone, yet over and over again have such monuments been erected, and this week in Bedford has been unveiled a representative effigy of a “Tommy,” in honour of those who went forth and are now lying beneath the veldt and Afric’s sunny skies.

Once the movement to provide memorial was started, it was quietly but earnestly pushed forward and the necessary funds raised by public subscription. The Committee who had the arrangements in hand were; The Lord Lieutenant (Earl Cowper, K.G.); the High Sheriff (Mr W. H. Allen); the Duke of Bedford, K. G.; Lord Alwyne Compton, M.P.; Mr T. G. Ashton, M.P.; Guy Pym, M.P.; the Mayors of Bedford, Luton and Dunstable; Col. Booth (Officer Commanding at Bedford Brigade Depot); Col. Frank Shuttleworth, Col. E. R. Green, and Col. Josselyn ; with Mr W. Marks (hon. secretary).

Various meetings were held, and when the form of the monument had been decided upon, the work of execution was placed in the hands of Messrs Farmer and Brindley, of Westminster Bridge-road, Loudon, and most satisfactorily have they carried out their work, the modelling being well done by Mr Chevalier. While this was being done a site had naturally to be provided, and a committee to select one visited several spots. At last it was announced that the piece of land in front of the Swan Hotel would be purchased Mr Hedley Baxter and given to the town, but eventually this proved unnecessary, for, meanwhile, the Swan was taken by Mr Benison, on the death of Mr. Burr, and he generously refused to sell, but gave the land on condition that all legal charges were paid; here again Mr Hedley Baxter stepped in and took this upon himself, and so the site will cost the town nothing but the pleasure of accepting it. We cannot pass on without giving to these gentlemen the most hearty thanks behalf of the town for their public spirit and generosity, and we are certain that every man, woman and child capable of understanding it, will feel also that they owe them a deep debt of gratitude which cannot be paid, if it were wished, nor adequately described in words. This spirit is one of England’s treasures, and wherever displayed it is taken at its proper worth, Bedford never being behind in this respect. But, to pass on; the site having been provided and the monument ready, the day for giving it to the view of the public had to be arranged, and Thursday was fixed on: not only that, however, but “Lifeboat Day” was also arranged for that day, as it was thought that the two events could be run together with advantage. Thus it was settled, and what two better objects could be amalgamated—one the honouring of those who had given their lives at the call of duty, and the other the assisting of those who are always ready to take their lives in their hands and brave the perils of the sea to help and save their fellow beings. All honour to the brave!

The bronze monument rests on a pedesta of York stone. The figure elevated upon the massive stone base represents an infantry soldier in kharki service dress and full marching order, with helmet, valise, canteen, rolled coat, water-bottle, haversack, bayonet, and two cartridge - pouches, and the legs are covered with putties. The posture is that of “stand easy,” his magazine rifle resting butt end on the ground with the muzzle at about 45 degrees clasped in the hand, and, apparently, the figure is larger than life size. The expression on the face, which is that of a young moustached man, is a pleasant one, and the general impression gained is that the “rest” is appreciated. On the square of bronze on which the feet rest, there is inscribed on each side, “South Africa—1899—1902,” and on each side of the stone pedestal there is a bronze panel bearing the names of those in whose honour it is erected. Three steps lead up to this to enable the public the more easily to read the names, which are raised from the face of the bronze, and, on inspection, the following inscriptions will be found:

Tablet I.—Facing the High-street.

To the Memory of the Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men of the Bedfordshire Regt., and of Bedfordshire Men serving in other branches of the Imperial Forces who lost their lives the South African Campaign, and whose names are here-under recorded, this monument was erected by public subscription in the County.

War Declared, Oct. 8, 1899.
Peace Proclaimed, June 1, 1902.

….the names of the fallen are then documented from the tablets…

THE UNVEILING CEREMONY.

Much anxiety was felt as to whether Dame Nature would be kind and give fine weather for the event and when the morning broke apprehension was not dispelled, for the clouds were low and threatening, but happily beyond a darkening of the sky and a few spots just at the commencement, the rain held off and eventually cleared away. At two o’clock some of the military assembled at Russell Park and subsequently marched down to their respective positions by the Embankment; about 2.15 a detachment from the Barracks, headed by their band, marched in and were located by the George Hotel wall, and shortly after the Imperial Yeomanry with Colonel Shuttleworth at their head came in from Warden Park and were stationed at the back of the 3rd Beds, and the Hunts, detachment previously placed in position on the right of the monument. The troops represented included the local volunteers and engineers, and there were also 12 of the County Police and one of the Borough force who had been through the campaign in South Africa, and practically every man on foot in the square wore medals, numbering from one to six. Exactly at three o’clock, with a guard of honour from the Yeomanry, Lady Cowper was driven into the centre near the monument, and directly after the Duke and Duchess of Bedford, arrived their motor, he wearing above his uniform the sash of the Order of the Garter with the Star. He was also accompanied by the Right Rev. Bishop Macrorie, and amongst the company that then drew near the memorial noticed Mr Allen (High Sheriff) in his robes, Mr Guy Pym, M.P., in the uniform of a Deputy-Lieutenant, Sir John Burgoyne and Lady Burgoyne, Major-General Wynne (Commanding Eastern District), Colonel and Mrs Josselyn, Major Brooks, Mr and Mrs Howard Whitbread, Col. E. R. and Mrs Green, Colonel and Mrs Duberly and friends, the Mayor (Ald. Moulton), Aldermen Burridge, Jarvis, Kilpin in their robe, and W. E. Taylor, Councillors Walker, Shelton, Dunham, Valentine, Lindley, Halliley, J. W. Carter, C. Carter, J. Miller, G. Haynes, A. G. Carruthers, A. R. Lindley, and F. R. Hockliffe, with the Town Clerk (Mr Hedley Baxter); Mr Griffith Jones, Mr Bull, Mr Evans, Mr Whyley. Mr Shepherd, &c. At 3.15 Bishop Macrorie appeared in full robes, and Lady Cowper took her position between the Bishop and Duke on one side and the High Sheriff on the other, onr crimson carpet in front of the memorial.

THE DUKE OF BEDFORD, then stepping to the front, said: My Lady, we lament with deep regret that our Lord Lieutenant is pre¬vented by illness from being present, and I have therefore the honour, as Chairman, on behalf of the Soldiers' Memorial Committee, to request your Ladyship, representing the Lord Lieutenant, to unveil the memorial to 230 of our departed comrades. It remains only for me to request your Ladyship's permission that the ceremony shall proceed.

The Band situated on the right then played Chopin's Funeral March, after which three rolls were given on the drums, and then Bishop Macrorie offered prayers, addressed to the “God of all consolation," and offering to Him “this memorial of our brethren who died for their Queen and Country in South Africa, whose bodies rest in peace and whose souls we thankfully commend to Thee." The Bishop asked that the good example of the dead might inspire the living "with the spirit of courage end patriotism, of self-sacrifice and obedience to duty." Next for comfort and succour to the hearts of all who mourn for the fallen, and for defence and provision for the fatherless children and widows and for the blessed issue of universal peace and brotherhood among the nation. The Bishop also prayed that the King’s soldiers might think wisely, act kindly, live purely, and be comforted in the time of death. The Lord's Prayer concluded the devotions of the hour.

Lady Cowper then stepped to the foot of the memorial, pulled a string and amid the cheers of the assembled multitude the sheeting fell off and threw open to the gaze of all the statue in all its beauty. During the sounding of the “Last Post" by buglers, the troops presented arms, and as the last note ceased.

Lady COWPER said: When and Gentle¬men, please allow me first to explain that I am only here to represent my husband on this occasion. It was a very great and bitter disappointment to my husband when he found he would not be able to be here to-day, but he has for six weeks had a very severe attack of illness and is not yet able to put his feet to the ground; therefore it was absolutely impossible for him to come to-day. He told me not to forget to say how much he regretted and was disappointed at not being able to come, and I must say I regret it as deeply as any, because I feel that I cannot give what is worthy such an occasion. What can be nearer to all our hearts than the unveiling of this statue? The figure is not the portrait of my one man, nor the production of an artist; it is rather a type of our British soldier, of whom all Englishmen are so justly proud is moreover, it is a type of those who, making that splendid profession their own, when in the case of stress and more help is needed, come forward, leaving their homes and families, to join those gone before and stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellows in the light. Surely, ladies and gentlemen, when we remember those dark days of three years ago, the call to arms, and the extraor¬dinary and astonishing rapidity with which regiments were formed, we have every right to be proud of our soldiers; and it is also a type of those men who, taking their lives in their hands, go forth to struggle and fight and face death, and when that time comes, which must come some to all, Iay them down and willingly die the hero's death. This statue will stand here to all ages to remind us that Bedfordshire men were not behind their fellows, in their willingness to do and die, and those old words, which were written so many centuries ago, and applied to heroes in olden days, may well be applied to them—Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (applause).

The HIGH SHERRIFF, on behalf of the County, thanked Lady Cowper as representing the Lord Lieutenant; they all regretted his absence, particularly because of the interest he had taken to that movement from the first, but, in his absence, they could not have had anyone more appropriate than Lady Cowper; her name was a household word in this County and the next, and it would be in the recollection of all how she had devoted herself to the soldiers' families left behind, and long prior to that how she had associated herself with the same cause, and was always doing much beneficent work. That monument had not been inspired by any artist; it was a reproduction in metal of an actual fact that took place in the late Boer War, and he thought it was due to say that Lord Alwyne Compton suggested the theme which had now been duly carried out.

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Last updated 20 August, 2019

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