Updated 12 Mar 2007

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 469


Taken 14 Oct 1902 See Red Lion Hotel in Market Place.

Taken 1902 in St John Street.

The Presentation in the Market Place on 14 Oct 1902. In the front row (left to right) are:
Private George H Walton, William Goodwin, Walter Maskrey, Trooper Corbett Bartlett, Private Ernest Pearson

The platform in the Market Place

Return from 2nd Boer War
to Wirksworth

On Tuesday 14 Oct 1902 a platform was erected in the Market Place for a presentation to the soldiers returning from the Second Boer War. They were presented with solid silver cups purchased by public subscription and a public holiday was declared for this great occasion.

Also see High Peak News article for description and names.

These marvellous photos were sent to me by Brenda Pearson from an old photo album. More information to come. They make me want to stand up and cheer and wave a Union Jack. Read Wikipedia to find out what the war (1899-1902) was all about.

Many thanks Brenda.

Reply from Derby LSL
Thank you for your enquiry, which has been passed to us here at Derby Local Studies. We hold local Derbyshire newspapers here on microfilm. I have checked the Derby Mercury for 8th October and the Ashbourne News Telegraph for 3rd October 1902. Neither paper makes mention of men returning from the Boer War.

There is a paper called the Matlock Guardian that would be more likely to cover the Wirksworth area in greater detail. Unfortunately, we do not hold copies covering the period you require. However, according to a listing we have, the Local Studies Library at Matlock hold copies covering the October 1902 period. May I suggest you contact them to see if they can help further. Please follow the link for more information and contact details: Matlock Local Studies Library

I hope you find this information to be helpful.

Kind regards

Mark Young
Library Assistant
Derby Local Studies Library
25B Irongate
Tel. (01332) 255393

Photo taken:14 Oct 1902
Source:Brenda Pearson, NZ

Click on photo for enlargement (on CD only)
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    From "High Peak News" dated Saturday 18 Oct 1902
    sent by Susan Hatton


    An important function

    Public presentations. A glorious event

    The town en fete. Honouring the killed

    Wirksworth never does things by halves, and it culminated all its kindly and patriotic receptions of the returning warriors from the front on Tuesday afternoon, when each of the returned received a handsome token of the town's esteem. There was a fund raised, it will be remembered, for the purpose of giving the warriors some permanent token, and a considerable sum was quickly raised. The outcome of the arrangements was a public presentation and public evidence of thanks and appreciation of their splendid services to the town, to country, and King. The presentations took place on Tuesday afternoon, at 3 o'clock, in the Market Place, and in honour of the auspicious occasion the town decorated profusely, and all the elite turned out in full strength to honour the occasion, while the
    gave a general holiday. The weather was, fortunately, appropriate for an outdoor occasion and there was sunshine.

    A stage had been erected in the Market Place by the committee, and on the front of it was a motto, as follows: "For God, for King, and Country" in coloured letters on a white ground. The stage was carpeted, and the steps were also laid with cloth, and on a table on the platform were the cups for presentation,
    [missing text?]
    selection, "Songs of England"; march, "Hero of Trafalgar"; march, "Red, White and Blue", and other patriotic airs, including the National Anthem.

    The cups were real gems. They were of very chaste design of solid silver with a rich gold lining. They stood on black pedestals. They were made for the occasion, by Hunt and Roskells, of London, and they had engraved the following inscription:-"Presented to -- by his fellow-townsmen of wirksworth, in grateful acknowledgment of services rendered to king in the South African War, 1899 and 1902"

    by the Chairman addressing the crowd. He had a hearty reception. He was pleased to see such a large gathering to do honour to the soldiers who had returned from the South African war, and who had there served their Queen, King, and Country. Many of the Wirksworth men went out to the front and had returned, some had served as regulars, some had served in the Imperial Yeomanry, and some had gone as Volunteers. Some had also gone and taken part in the war as civilians, civilians who had risked their lives and sacrificed home comforts, and were ready to do their duty to lay down their lives, that the honour of that country might be maintained. It was no little matter if they would only think of it for a man to leave his home, his friends, his country, and to fight in a foreign land, and on the chance of being shot at any moment, and of never returning to those friends and his country again. But these men had dared all that, in fact they had looked into the very jaws of death. They had done nobly, and they were that day there to recognise what these men had done. They had gone through unspeakable hardships, and they had borne sufferings with every patience, and they had proved in the general conclusion of the war that they had done everything nobly. And those that they had left behind had never had them out of their thought, and they had gone through an immense amount of mental suffering on their behalf, and now they were heartily pleased for the safe return of these soldiers. All that had gone out from the Wirksworth district had returned with the exception of three, and these never would return, for they had found graves in South Africa. They would not be lost sight of for the way they had nobly sacrificed their lives in the late war everyone there could not fail to extend sympathy to their bereaved relatives. Moreover it was the intention of all concerned to hand down their names to posterity by the erection of a
    in the Parish Church recording their services; and he might tell them that he had a message from Mr Crompton, who was sorry he could not be present that day, but who wished to add £10 towards the fund for the placing of this tablet in the Parish Church. It had been the wish of the committee in Wirksworth that every soldier that returned should have some present to mark their appreciation of his services when called to fight for his country, and hence the cups before them would be given to each soldier (Applause)
    [missing text?]
    and tobacco, and endless plum-puddings. (Laughter). These plum-puddings, he might say, were very comforting, and, in fact, every thing they sent, and if they had only known how those presents cheered them to do their duty in the weary war just terminated they would know that everything sent had been fully appreciated. And for all that had been sent he desired to thank everybody. He also took the opportunity of thanking them on behalf of the relatives of their dead comrades they had left in South Africa. No doubt they had been through a great deal of hardship, and had had to suffer unusual endurance, but their return home - well, if they had nothing else for it the return home they had had at Wirksworth both in the reception and in that presentation
    them for all the duty they had had to undertake in the war. He could not conclude without referring to the Soldiers and Sailors Friendly Association. It had done excellent work; it had promised that the wives of soldiers at the front should be cared for, and they had been cared for, and words of his could not express what he felt in thanking them all, both for the reception of the cups and for their attendance to the soldiers' wives and families while they had been to war. Once more he thanked them and Mr Walthall heartily. (Applause)
    Canon Gem said he had duty to perform, a brief duty and a pleasing one, and that was that their best thanks be tendered to Mr Walthall for the presentation of the cups to the soldiers, those soldiers who had served their King and their country well in south Africa. Mr Walthall, he thought, could well say that he had never taken a part in such an interesting and historical ceremony as he had that day in those presentations. And in the crowd he saw around him he saw many young fellows, and he hoped it would help them to do their duty in any station of life in which they might be placed and should any occasion arise on which they could be required to serve their country, he hoped they would come forward in as hearty a manner as Wirksworth had done during the late war in South africa. And he hoped that
    as heartily appreciate her soldier sons as they had those taking part in the late war. Those men that had gone to the front had laid themselves open to death; they had self-sacrificed everything; they had left their homes; and their best thanks were due to them. And he knew they would appreciate the little they had done that day and at the time they returned from the war.
    Mr G H Wheatcroft seconded in an able speech. He heartily supported what had been done that day, and knew Wirksworth would do its duty, as it had done in the past. Mr walthal said he had never been so highly flattered in his life. Moreover, he did not see any reason why he should be asked tp present those cups, because he was not a military man, and the only interest he had taken that way was in the Volunteers. It was not that he did not appreciate and follow with interest the Wirksworth soldiers who had been to war. He thanked
    [missing text?]
    not think that he was the right man, as it should have been, really, a lady, as they had no Kitchener or Roberts among them to do service. They were very handsome cups, and he knew they would be duly appreciated by the recipients. And it would show them that they had never been forgotten while they had been away. They had gone through many hardships, but he was pleased they had not had to go through such as the Crimean winter in the Crimean war.

    As each cup was presented there was cheering from the populace.


    and of the three deceased, was as follows:

    Capt Pole Gell 2nd Coldstream Guards
    Lieut. Hurt Royal Welsh Fusiliers
    Lieut. Pryce Wood, 12th Prince of Wales's Royal Lancers
    Lieut. B Arkwright, Derbyshire Imperial Yeomanry
    Lieut. B Claxton, 1st Batt Imperial Yeomanry
    Sgt Richard Casterton, 1st Derby Volunteer Company
    Private Frank Hollingworth, Second Grenadier Guards
    Private George H Moore, 3rd King's Royal Rifles
    Private George H Walton, 3rd Grenadier Guards
    Private Ernest Pearson, 1st Grenadier Guards
    Private Edward Ault, 10th Royal Hussars
    Gunner Walter Maskrey, 76th Battery Royal Field Artillery
    Pr Joseph Brockleworth
    Pt Thomas Lee
    Albert T Goodwin
    Trooper Isaac Walker
    Trooper Corbett Bartlett
    Private Harry Lenton
    Private Edward Boden
    Private Harry Udale
    Lance Corp Joshua Greenhough
    P Albert Brough
    P Thomas Sherrin (deceased)

    The Lieut Hurt referred to is Francis Cecil Albert HURT, 1878-1930, Lord of Alderwasley Manor 1907-1930. His early active service was with 23rd Welch Fusiliers, stationed in Africa.

3 men from Wirksworth,
died in the 2nd Boer War

This tablet lies in the Parish Church,
near the lectern in the Nave


To the glory of God and in memory of

1st Battalion Kings Royal Rifles,
killed Octr 20th 1899 at Talana Hill Natal.

87147 Driver ALBERT BROUGH
42nd Battery Royal Field Artillery,
killed May 1st 1901 at Machadodorp.

1st Battalion Derbyshire Regiment
died Augt 14th 1900 at Pretoria.

Who lost their lives in the service of their Country during the South African War 1899 - 1902

This tablet is erected by subscription from the residents of Wirksworth and neighbourhood.
(Brass tablet)

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