The St Keverne Parish War Memorial was built on what at the time was considered to be the most prominent position within the Parish – the centre of St Keverne village square; following the removal of two cottages, two shoemaker’s shops and one cart-house, which had stood on that site for many a long year.
Such was the sacrifice of those from St Keverne Parish, who ‘laid down their lives’ for others in the 1914-1918 conflict, parishioners chose this exalted position, as the only worthy position befitting those having ‘no known grave’.
Erected in 1920, St Keverne Parish War Memorial was unveiled by the late Col. Sir Courtenay Vyvyan BART, C.B. C.M.G. at 6.30pm on Wednesday September 22nd 1920. This was followed by an open air service conducted by the Right Rev, The Lord Bishop of Truro, assisted by the Reverends E Mortimer and W Tremberth.
During the service, three hymns were sung by the large gathering representing ‘next of kin’ and local organizations. The hymns selected were; ‘All people that on earth do dwell’, ‘For all the Saints who from their labours rest’ and ‘Oh God our help in ages past’, followed by one verse of the National Anthem.
Unveiling and dedication of the Memorial was to honour in gratitude and remembrance, those of St Keverne Parish who had paid the supreme sacrifice; by laying down their lives for their country in the 1914-1918 war. An inscription on the east face of the Memorial bears witness to this.
Twenty-five years later in 1945, a further inscription was added to the west face to honour in gratitude and remembrance yet more of our Parish, who like earlier comrades, paid the supreme sacrifice by laying down their lives for their country, in the Second World War 1939-1945.
Pride of place on this memorial will forever be theirs. Greater love hath no man that he lay down his life for his friends.
Fifty years on and in contrast; a third inscription has been added on the north face to commemorate ‘VE/VJ’ Day – Victory in Europe/Victory in Japan and the associated years of peace 1945-1995.
The Memorial is constructed of Cornish granite; the cross and base structures are all octagonal in plan. The cross has a tapered stem supported on a pedestal, which had a moulded top and projecting plinth. The whole is mounted on a three step high base. At road level there is a slightly raised octagonal (on plan) concrete hard standing area, enclosed by low-level iron railings with a gate. The railings are painted black, the verticals being topped by gold painted fleur-de-lys.
The railings and surrounding kerb were installed sometime after the original structure as a precautionary safe guard measure against damage. The original kerb is now non-evident.
Since its construction and dedication, each year ever increasingly large gatherings march down Doctor’s Hill and assemble around the Memorial to commemorate Armistice Sunday in November through a Service of Remembrance, two minutes silence and wreath laying.
Many of the names of those who fell are Parish family names and continue to this day:
1914-1918 Conflict 1939-1945 Conflict