The powerful memories that metal and stone can evoke - found here at Kemerton - copper and lillies.
These are the men who never returned from the from the Great War whose memorials lie at Kemerton in Worcestershire.
Lieutenant John Charles William Adderley Pinney
DoB 1896 Stoulton Worcestershire DoD 1st December 1917 Cambrai, France age 21
1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers
Attached C Squadron 38th King George's Own Central India Horse
Buried: Tincourt New British Cemetery, Somme, France
Lieutenant Frederick Thurston Stringer
DoB August 2nd 1890 DoD March 26th 1919 Plymouth age 28
HMS Redpole, Royal Navy
Buried: Kemerton St. Nicholas Churchyard, Worcestershire (Official war grave)
St Nicholas Church, Kemerton in Worcestershire is tucked away down a lane opposite the high walls of a enclosed garden. The creaky iron gate is pushed to by a dog walker as I pull in to see this little church. Its nestled next old houses, period estate works with their own private entrance to the church down one side. The ground is mossy, as is the English countryside when the sunlight dims and the dampness of the season descends. Happily the church door is open, and I trip through it onwards towards discovery.
John Charles William Adderley Pinney
On a copper plaque underneath a stained glass window at Kemerton church, is an ornate and elegant war memorial to a man lost to the Great War:
To the glory of God
and in ever loving memory of
John Charles William Adderley Pinney
Lieut. 38th K.G.O. Central India Horse
late 1st Btn Royal Fusiliers
Born 31st March 1896 who fell 1st December 1917
in the Battle of Cambrai whilst leading his
squadron in a dismounted attack on the
Kildare Trench, south east of Villers Guislain
An observer with the Royal Flying Corps in France
from 12th November 1914 to June 1915
"and they shall be mine saith the Lord of Hosts
in that day when I make up my jewels
A Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. He was attached to "C" Squadron of the 38th King George's Own Central India Horse. He was an observer with the Royal Flying Corps from November 1915 to June 1915. He was Mentioned in Despatches by Sir John French in January 1916 for gallant and distinguished conduct in the field. In July 1917, he was wounded in the head at Guillemont. This was a young man whose history in the First World War was varied and extensive; probably a young man who would have gone on to bigger and better things in his military service.
John was the eldest of their three sons. He was grandson of Lord and Lady Norton. He attended Wellington and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He gained a commission to the Royal Fusiliers soon after the outbreak of war. He was the son of Major John C. D. and the Hon. Mrs. Pinney, of "Waterloo Cottage," Bredon. His father was a retired Major with the same King George's Own Central India Horse. He was chairman of the Bredon Men's Working Club and did a lot of work with the British Legion and ex-servicemen in the inter-war period. His mother Sybil Maud Adderley was the sister of Lord Norton of Cheltenham.
On John's grave in Tincourt New British Cemetery, east of Peronne on the Somme, his parents inscribed:
For the duty dared and done for the crown of life well won we bless thee lord
A young man's life now intertwined with the history of the Great War.
Frederick Thurston Stringer
It is a beautiful grave. Sculpted with lilies intertwined upon it. It is the official war grave of Lieutenant Frederick Thurston Stringer. Written and designed by a wife for a husband; dreaming of what might haves and the life that could have happened.
"Thine for ever God of love"
In ever loving memory of
my darling husband
Lieut. Frederick Thurston Stringer, Royal Navy
Born August 2nd 1890
Died at Plymouth March 26th 1919
"Until the day break and the shadows flee away"
Lieutenant Frederick Thurston Stringer had only just arrived back from tour with HMS Wear when he died in Plymouth. He was 28 years of age. The cause - influenza and pneumonia. He had been on board the destroyer Wear since May 1918. He had been a Lieutenant since 1913.
His body was sent to Kemerton to be buried. He lived at Kemerton Court with his new wife. They had been married about a year. In the same church he was married, he was buried.
Fred was the son of Colonel Frederick Stringer of the Royal Welch Fusiliers.
Strangely, there is a connection even more. Fred was the half-brother of another fallen naval man. At Bredon church, not far away is a memorial to Lieutenant Hugh Donald Bennett. He died on board HMS Cressy in 1914. Please see my other blog on Bredon for more information on Hugh. It is strange to see two halves of one family befallen by this war. Their legacies remaining in their local churches. For all time.
Both of their names lie on the war memorial tablet at Bredon church as well as Lieutenant John Pinney.
Two hand-written Rolls of Honour are framed and set on the wall of the church. Always nice to see, a reminder of all who served, despite what happened at the end - live or die.