On the 11th November 2018 the parish of Belton Commemorated the Centenary of the ending of World War One and remembered the forty nine Belton men who served in the war and paid tribute to the ten Belton men who died. The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a grant of £30,000 to St Peter & St Paul Church, Belton, to repair and restore the Memorial Church Gates and surrounding walls and Stone Tablet which were erected in memory of the ten Belton men who died.
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a grant of £30,000 to St Peter & St Paul Church, Belton, to repair and restore the Memorial Church Gates and surrounding walls and Stone Tablet which were erected in memory of the ten Belton men who died. The grant also funded research into the lives of the ten men and into the production of Interpretation material which will record and display this work.
The Belton men who died in the First World War would either have lived in Belton at some stage in their lives or have been working on the Belton Estate prior to enlisting. They may have worked as gardeners, carpenters, woodmen, grooms, farm hands or have been involved in gamekeeping or in other various jobs on the Estate or they may have worked in the House. The Brownlow family owned Belton House and the Belton Estate and Ashridge House and its Estate in Hertfordshire. At the outbreak of war Belton Park was immediately placed at the disposal of the British forces for use as a Training Camp. It was the training centre of the 11th (Northern) and 30th Divisions. The Machine Gun Corps was much later formed at Belton. The Belton servants would have been aware of the training camps in Belton Park and some joined up at the start of the war. They enlisted in the Lincolnshire Regiment and other Regiments and fought in all the major Campaigns
On the 11th November Belton parish paid homage to the ten Belton men who lost their lives in the war. We followed the guidelines of 1919 and 1921 when the church bells were rung and a short service was held in the church. In 1919 the National Flag was raised by a Belton child. A Tea followed. In 1921 the Memorial Gates and wing fences were installed. The structure included a Mansfield Stone Tablet, inscribed with the names of the ten men who died. Above the Tablet was mounted an Iron Cross made by the village blacksmith, Mr G Pawlett. The Gates and Stone Tablet and Iron Cross were designed and commissioned by Earl Brownlow who sadly died before the Memorial could be completed. The Memorial was unveiled by his heir, Lord Brownlow, and Lady Brownlow laid a Wreath.
In 2018 the bells were rung and there was a short service in Belton Church and a Ceremony of Re-Dedication and Commemoration was held at the newly restored Memorial Church Gates. The cleaned Stone Tablet was unveiled and Wreaths were laid. The Union Jack was then taken to the flagpole and raised by the village children. A Tea followed in The Belton Old School Village Hall.
A group of fourteen Belton people have researched the lives of the ten men who lost their lives and their work was recorded and saved for future generations.
The following poem was written in 1921 at the time of the erection of the memorial gates and Tablet by Osmond Wainwright a forester on the Belton Estate. Mr Wainwright’s son fought in WW1 and is listed in the church on the Roll of Honour. The Poem is now held in the British Library
The Photographs below record the work on the gates and also the Commemoration and Re-dedication on the 11th November 2018