Centenary of the World War 1 Armistice - 11th November 1918

On 11th November 1918 the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of warfare in the “war to end all wars”. 11th November 2018 takes on special significance as it marks the centenary of the Armistice which brought the First World War to an end.

Hoole and Newton War Memorial

The War Memorial on Hoole Road, dedicated on 1st April 1923, is familiar to us all. During 2014-2018, Hoole History and Heritage Society has been learning more of the memorial’s history, and how it came to be erected in its position on Hoole Road.

The creation of a memorial was first discussed in July 1916, the year when, due to the course of the war, conscription had to be introduced by the Government. Hoole Urban District Council (HUDC) considered a Roll of Honour which would list all those who served in the Armed Forces. Further discussion was then deferred.

The proposal was considered again, at a special meeting of HUDC on Saturday 11th November 1918, Armistice Day, and shortly after this, Newton Parish Council was invited to combine to form a Joint War Memorial Committee.

Much debate about the form and the location of the memorial ensued. One consideration was the cost. The building of a Memorial Hall was suggested. A large stone memorial, listing all who served, and sited by the bowling greens in Alexandra Park, was also proposed.

A public meeting was held in February 1919, where “much expression of opinion ensued”. In the end the public meeting voted for a memorial.

The Minute Books of HUDC describe the Joint War Memorial Committee as reporting to both councils.

On the 14th March 1921, a meeting of the full Council of Hoole Urban District received the recommendation of the Joint Committee, to pass a resolution approving the building of a Hoole and Newton War Memorial. The Memorial Hall idea was formally abandoned.

The location was chosen at this meeting, opposite 'The Elms' Council Offices on Hoole Road. The location is just within the boundary of the land locally governed by the Flookersbrook Trust under the Flookersbrook Improvement Act 1876.

At the Ermine Hotel, on Thursday 10th November 1921, Maurice Thomas was appointed ‘a Trustee under the Flookersbrook Improvement Act 1876’ by the meeting called for this purpose by the Parish for the Township of Newton by Chester. Following the parish elections in 1922, he went on to succeed C.P. Smith as the Chairman of Newton by Chester Parish Council.

William Williams, Chairman of Hoole Urban District Council, was also Chairman of the Flookersbrook Trust.

Mr William Williams explained that the Hoole Urban District Council and Newton Parish Council were desirous of erecting a monument in memory of the soldiers killed in the Great War and who had resided in the area under the jurisdiction of the two councils, on part of the land belonging to the Trust ‘ [Minute Book of the Trust, August 1921, courtesy of Flookersbrook Trust]

The trustees ‘had no objection’ to this happening on Trust land in the location where the war memorial stands today. Three designs for the memorial were submitted, from which the one we know, designed by Mr F Davies MSA, was chosen.

A roll listing soldiers from Hoole and Newton who had given their lives in the First World War was to be inscribed. Clegg & Sons, Stonemasons, whose showroom is listed in Kelly’s Directory 1914 at 11 Brook Street, executed the design.

On Easter Sunday 1st April 1923, it was unveiled by Lieutenant General Sir Beauvoir De Lisle.

The photograph of the Order of Service reveals wording linked to the inscription on the War Memorial, shown in the photograph of the base of the memorial.

The service was conducted by the Bishop of Chester, who was assisted by Reverend Pavitt from All Saints’ Church. Chester General Railway Station band played.

Representatives from the Councils, the Hoole Fire Brigade, the British Red Cross, the Guides and the Scouts were in attendance. A large crowd filled all of Hoole Road.

Although the erection of the War Memorial had been an initiative of the two Councils, and the Flookersbrook Trust had ceded the use of the land to this purpose, after the memorial was unveiled, the question of its maintenance and future care remained to be addressed.

The Order of Service 1st April 1923, depicting the memorial and echoing the inscription

It was recorded in the HUDC minutes of the meeting of 10th September 1923, that HUDC, jointly with Newton Parish Council, resolved to take over the maintenance and all future care of the Hoole and Newton War Memorial.

A panel dedicated to those who gave their lives in the Second World War was installed behind the War Memorial in 1949.




Hoole and Newton War Memorial 11th November 2017                              The base of the memorial and its inscription

Article researched and written by Linda Webb, July 2018, Hoole History & Heritage Society

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