Stanwick Group of Churches


There are two memorials in St James'church, one for those lost in World War 1 and one with just one parishioner lost in World War 2. Unfortunately they are on different sides of the church so Vernon Kirk can easily be overlooked by the casual vsitor in the church, though it's obvious from this recent photo that this isn't the case in the local community.

The WW1 memorial is interesting in that it is obviously so personal to the men who were lost and those who stayed behind or returned.

Melsonby was a quarrying village. The quarries are still there. Some are open, some disused and some opened on an occasional basis when the stone is needed. The men of Melsonby up to WW2, were to a large extent quarrymen and so when a stone was needed with which to preserve the memories of those lost in the Great War - supposedly the war to end all wars - it was cut by the men of the village from local stone. It was not fancily dressed or carved but left simple and recognisable for what it was. It's inscription also reflects the fact that it was from those who knew them, not decided by officaldom as 'appropriate'.

It reads: 

"In memory of the Melsonby lads whose death sealed their service in the Great War. This stone was quarried and put here by their mates whose service kept them at home.

'Thanks be to GOD who giveth us the victory through our LORD JESUS CHRIST'

James Jackson 
Arthur Gregory
John Robert Souter
William Henry Souter
Willis Wharton
Wilson Robinson


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