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Sermons in Wood and Stone: War Memorials and Their Purpose.

February 29 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM GMT

Free – £5.00

February’s History @ Heptonstall, we welcome Mike Edwards, bringing his informative and fascinating insight into the history and purpose of war memorials.

War memorials will always be subject to a variety of interpretations. Arguably it is hard to look back at the Great War – the trenches, mud, blood, poppies, and the memorials to a war to end all wars, without seeing it through the prism of 20th-century history: a Second World War, the ever-present threat of nuclear mass destruction etc, but memorials are always of their time. Mike’s talk will be non-genealogical and has two main themes:

The Great War and its aftermath were catalysts for unprecedented social and political change, as communities reflected on four years of death, suffering and grief. What had it all been for, what had it all meant? Questions are etched on the memorials that were erected to serve post-war communities. Mike will focus on specific memorials in the Upper
Calder Valley.

Secondly, memorials in the region which include figures of women, often depict a re-affirmation of pre-war gender roles. Still, noticeably others acknowledge how the War had heralded the start of a change in women’s place in society.

Mike Edwards, a resident was for several years a volunteer for the War Grave Photographic Project and a volunteer for the Imperial War Archive of War Memorials. He has recorded not just local war graves, but family gravestones throughout the Upper Calder Valley which record family members killed in war and buried elsewhere.
Whilst many local chapels and churches have the names of those who fell in the Great War, Hebden Bridge’s main war memorial does not. For the 1914 Centennial Mike researched over 400 names and created biopics of those from Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Erringden, Wadsworth, Heptonstall and Blackshaw Head who fell during the Great War. Funded by Hebden Royd Town Council they were compiled into a Civic Book of Remembrance now held in the Council Offices. He also compiled extracts for local churches, chapels, and schools for their books of remembrance.

Admission is free for Friends of Heptontall Museum
£5 Others



February 29
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM GMT
Free – £5.00
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Friends of Heptonstall Museum
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Heptonstall Museum
Church Yard Bottom
Heptonstall, HX7 7PL United Kingdom
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