Remembering St Albans’ fallen heroes from First World War battle

Cathedral war memorial banners

Cathedral war memorial banners - Credit: Archant


War memorial for Passchendaele

War memorial for Passchendaele - Credit: Archant

An evensong service will be held at St Albans Cathedral to commemorate men who died a century ago in the First World War.

Twenty men from St Albans were killed at Passchendaele in the Third Battle of Ypres on July 31, 1917. The Hertfordshire Territorial Regiment lost more than 75 per cent of its officers and more than 150 individual soldiers.

To commemorate the loss, a memorial will be unveiled in the Belgian village of St Julien, north-east of Ypres, by the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire.

The Cathedral will be commemorating the men from St Albans with a special evensong at 4pm on Saturday. The evensong will feature Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’, which includes the line “they shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old”.

The men from St Albans who died that day include Private Percy Buck of Upper Culver Road, Private Claude Garment of Bernard Street, Private Charles Javeleau of Orchard Street and Private Sidney Powell of Sandridge Road.

Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Iqbal Zia, the Countess of Verulam, who is currently Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and a patron of the St Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society, and Deputy Lieutenant Howard Guard will all be attending the service.

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Reverend Berkeley Zych, the St Albans Cathedral Precentor, will lead the service, which will be attended by the Dean of St Albans the Rev Dr Jeffrey John.

There will also be readings from the book Passchendaele, by Nigel Steel and Peter Hart.

After the service there will be a showing of a short video in the Lady Chapel, commissioned by the Lord Lieutenant in 2011 and entitled ‘A County at War’.

The Cathedral’s parish contains 10 memorials to the men who died. In 1920 to 1921, the Bishop of St Albans dedicated the memorials, which are now listed monuments. He was also responsible for creating the Cathedral’s Diocesan Memorial, the stained-glass window by Ninian Comper at the west end of the Nave, and a lectern with three glass-fronted cases containing the memorial books, which list the 16,500 men from the parishes in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Barnet.