Unveiling of the War Memorial– Sunday April 10th, 1921 at 3.00pm
A simple but very impressive ceremony was witnessed in St Oswald’s churchyard on Sunday afternoon, when the memorial which has been erected by public subscription to the Methley men who fell in the war was unveiled and dedicated by the Bishop of Ripon, Dr Strong.
The memorial, designed by Mr John Bilson, FSA, of Hull, is a reproduction of an old Yorkshire cross of about the 14th century. Worked entirely in white Hopton Wood stone, it consists of a large octagonal base, a slender shaft and collar surmounted by a small cross. Around the base are eight panels, on one of which is inscribed, “Praise God for the men of Methley whose names are here inscribed, and who laid down their lives in the Great War, 1914-1918.” The other seven panels bear the names of those who fell.
Major General H D Davies, CB commanding the West Riding Division, TF had been expected to unveil the memorial and give an address, but the Rector, Archdeacon H Armstrong Hall, who conducted the service, stated that General Davies had been detained on duty at York in circumstances which they all deplored. The whole ceremony was therefore performed by the Bishop of Ripon. The Rev. F Northrop, Vicar of St. Margaret’s, who has been secretary of the fund since the Rev. H. S. Derbyshire left the village, also took part in the service.
On two sides of the memorial a body of ex-service men were drawn up under Major D.H.C. Briggs, Supt. A.G. Guise, of the Castleford Ambulance Division being also present. On the third side were some 300 senior school children, and reserved for relatives of the fallen men. Behind the ex-servicemen were choristers from both churches and all the nonconformist places of worship, who led the singing of the hymns, and the Methley Brass Band, under the leadership of Mr. W Talbot, who played the Dead march in “Saul” and a memorial selection.
Mr. John Richardson has been the treasurer to the fund, which amounted to £560, and the scheme has been carried out by a representative committee. The ceremony was witnessed by a large crowd of people numbering possibly three thousand. A large number of beautiful wreaths were placed around the foot of the memorial. Correction noted Thomas Pyrah should read Joseph Pyrah.