East Wickham and Welling War Memorial in St Michael's Church, East Wickham

East Wickham and Welling War Memorial

After the Trust was resurrected in 1992, the Trustees set about commissioning a new war memorial to replicate the original East Wickham War Memorial still located in the original church, now used by the Greek Orthadox community (The Church of Christ the Saviour).  In early 1996 a local craftsman, Roger Dunn, was commissioned to create an oak memorial, carved with the names, to be placed in the ‘new’ St Michael’s Church, East Wickham, built in the 1930s.

After work had started, a much longer list of names was disovered of men commemorated on a tablet which had been placed in the Memorial Hall, but which had long since disappeared.  The Trustees therefore decided to reduce the size of the lettering carved to leave space for additional names to be added after further research could be undertaken.  The new memorial was dedicated in 1996 by the Venerable David Atkinson, the Archdeacon of Lewisham, 

Further research, in 1996 and 1997, on the list names from the Memorial Hall was undertaken by Nigel Betts, Chairman of the Trust, and students from Westwood Technology College, using information provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and a few newspaper articles found on a card index system at Bexley Local Studies. Those names that could be linked to East Wickham and Welling were added to the memorial in 1998. Most of these names were also listed on the Welling War Memorial and thus a combined memorial for East Wickham and Welling was created.

After the names were added, the St Michael’s War Memorial Committee minutes were uncovered by Kelly Morgan, when researching her degree dissertation, which explained why a lot of the names had been omitted from the original memorial.  Most notable were those men who had lived in the Hutments, the ‘temporary’ housing that had been constructed off Lodge Hill, Welling, to house workers in the Royal Arsenal (but which were not actually demolished until the 1950s). St Michael’s War Memorial Committee noted in their minutes of 8th June 1921:

“The Secretary stated that great difficulty had been experienced in dealing with the names of those who were believed to have resided in the hutments and those whose address was shown as not known or doubtful on the previous list. As regards the hutments careful enquiry had been made by Capt. Reumens but with negative results and there appeared no alternative but to leave off the names of “hutments” men (with the exception of Sidney A Dinmore who had previously lived in the parish proper) on the ground that they were floating population and could not be traced. It was further agreed to omit the names of those it had not been possible to trace because of lack of information as to address, it being understood that in most of such cases it was probable that the man himself had not lived in the parish.”

In around 2010, local historians Sophie and Gerry Piggott, undertaking further research on the names on the war memorial, as part of the Bexley War Memorials project, contacted the Trust as they discovered some inaccuracies with the names on the memorial.

In 2013, the WElling WILL REMEMBER them project was started to research all the names on the memorial in detail, as well as uncovering names of men not previously commemorated locally. The online memorial on this website documents the stories uncovered and has also been an opportunity to correct any errors of names.  Further names that have come to light will be physically added to the memorial over the Centenary period.

 These have been corrected on the online war memorial.