This site celebrates the life and work of sculptor John
Cassidy (1860 - 1939).
Cassidy's works can be hard to track down; noticing a mention of Lower Peover in one book, we headed off into Cheshire by bicycle on Mother's Day, 2008 to investigate.
We were not disappointed.
Loading a gun on a warship: a common theme on these memorial plaques
Cassidy's signature just visible. One source says these plaques are cast lead rather than bronze. Could this be correct?
Inscription on the left-hand side of the plinth.
One of the old gravestones nearby; the carved letters are quite similar.
Cassidy's name and the date 1921 appear on the right-hand side of the plinth, not seen by most who look at the memorial.
October 21 1916
An extract from More than a Name, a fine website which traces the stories of Stockport's Great War dead:
By late October 1916, the Battle of the Somme was entering its final stages. Advances had been made since July and the Cheshires were to become involved in an attempt to wrest the high ground away from the Germans. Capture of the ridge, which ran from Martinpuich to Thiepval, would allow the British strategic control of this sector.
On 20 October, the Battalion assembled in Hessian Trench, prior to an attack on Regina Trench. The next day, the British artillery barrage started at 12.06pm, rolling forward across No Man's Land before falling on the German front line trench. The Cheshire's followed very closely behind, finding the barrage was protecting them, by preventing the German machine gunners from coming out of their dugouts. They advanced in three waves and, finding the enemy's barbed wire had been destroyed by the artillery, took their objective without much difficulty.
The Battalion's War Diary records they "took about 250 prisoners and captured a machine gun. One party, advancing well forward, put a German field gun out of action, but was unable to bring it back". They now consolidated the position and held it until 6pm on the 22nd. The attack had been successful but costly. Three officers and 74 men had been killed. Another 120 were wounded and out of action.
Links and references:
The Long, Long Trail: the Cheshire Regiment in 1914-18
Battle of the Somme 1916 (Wikipedia)
St Oswald's Church (Wikipedia)
Rev. Canon J. C. Sladden, MA BD (Oxon). Beside the Bright Stream, The Background and History of St. Oswald's Church, Lower Peover (Booklet on sale in the church.)
Walter Horn (text); Ernest Born (drawings): Two Timbered Mediaeval
Churches of Cheshire:
St. James and St. Paul at
Marton and St. Oswald
at Lower Peover The Art Bulletin, Vol. 44, No. 4. (Dec., 1962), pp. 263-278. (available on JStor)
The War Memorial, Lower Peover, Cheshire
1914 - 1918
Sidney JACKSON · · · missing
1939 - 1945 Joseph BUCKLEY February 7th 1943
The names of the dead.
A large number in 1914-1918 for such a rural parish. Just one name
needed to be added after the 1939-45 war. Three men lost their lives on
October 21 1916: a black day indeed for the village. (See the left
column for more about this.)
I was pleaasd to see
that the church was open to visitors, not the usual situation for
village churches in these times.