Pinchbeck war memorial first for district

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South Lincolnshire’s first war memorial to those who gave their lives in World War 1 was unveiled in Pinchbeck in 1916.

The memorial – consisting of a brass tablet – was unveiled and dedicated in the village’s parish church.

The tablet was the gift of Mr W S Royce, JP, who lived at Pinchbeck Hall. It was described as “handsome even in its great simplicity” and contained the 101 names of those who had died “in the early days of this great struggle”.

The men had, according to the report, “volunteered despite all the consequences, and before any suggestion of compulsory service for the manhood of the nation was suggested”.

Around 1,200 people were present at the unveiling, performed by Mr Royce, “the largest and the most highly representative ever known at the ancient church of Pinchbeck”. There was seating for 800, and in addition the aisles, the front of the chancel and the western portion of the church were crowded, and a number of people were not able to get in.

The report said: “It was an historical and unique occasion, and it was accorded most patriotic and universal sympathy and support”.

The memorial was to be placed on the north wall of the church at Pinchbeck as a permanent memorial and honour to “those valiants of the village, who risked all, irrespective of the greatness of the sacrifice”.

Mr Royce had four volunteer sons in the service, the parish vicar had two – though one had made “the greater sacrifice”. The great majority of households in the parish were represented on the tablet.

The parish vicar, “the highly respected” the Rev F F Wayet, preached at a service “of the simplest and most patriotic character” and the dedication of the tablet was performed by the Rev E C Gee, a native of Pinchbeck.