Princethorpe Cemetery is situated on the Leamington Road, Princethorpe,
at the entrance to Princethorpe College
The extension to the Princethorpe Cemetery is taking shape. Work has progressed with the area being cleared and seeded and a gated opening on the Leamington Road created. The work will continue with the laying of a pathway for the first row of graves.
The newly planted hedge for the extension to Princethorpe Cemetery
The War Memorial in Princethorpe Cemetery was re-dedicated on
Sunday 11 November 2018. Father Teddy O’Brien MSC conducted the re-dedication and blessing of the memorial assisted by Sean and Luke O’Kelly.
Approximately 100 parishioners, members of the Princethorpe village community, friends and visitors processed down the Princethorpe College drive after the 10.00am Mass to begin the re-dedication and blessing at 10.45am in time for the two minute national silence at 11.00am.
We would like to thank the War Memorials Trust for their generous donation of £3750.00 towards the £6000.00 cost of restoring the memorial.
We must also thank the many parishioners and friends who have supported our target to ensure the funding for the memorial was raised. Special thanks to Mr Rory O’Connor of Historic Buildings Restoration for his diligence and professional expertise.
The First World War memorial was erected by the Benedictine nuns of St Mary’s Priory, now Princethorpe College. A dedication service was held on 18 September 1922.
The memorial was in a poor state of repair. The restoration began with the removal of the Corpus (which we now discover is cast iron coated with an ivory coloured enamel) and the original oak cross – rotten, warped and desperately in need of replacement.
Image attributed to Chris Harrison
Princethorpe War Memorial
Chris Harrison: Sites of Memory II
“The first memorial I ever saw was at the top of my street in Jarrow. It was overgrown and neglected and most of the names had been worn away. Even as a child I was fascinated by this tangible connection to the past. Hepburn, Dixon and Dodds, grandfathers of school friends, neighbours, people familiar and close, their names slowly dissolving in the acid rain from the local factories. Later as an artist, I started to think about history from a local perspective. For me, photography is about the duration of time rather than light; I am not seeking the decisive moment. These war memorials are representative of thousands of decisive moments of which I have no comprehension.
I started work on Sites of Memory in 1995 and after a show at the Imperial War Museum in 1997 I took a break from the work. In 2016 I started on the work again by photographing First World War memorials in Germany. In 2017, the Wolverhampton Art Gallery contacted me and were interested in putting on a show of work with particular emphasis on the Black Country.
In doing the work, I stayed with my partner Katharine MacDaid’s family in Wappenbury. Katharine is herself a very accomplished photographer and we actually met while both exhibiting work in Rome. During my stay I was invited to Father Teddy’s parish barbecue to raise funds for repairs to the Princethorpe Cemetery Memorial. On finding out about the memorial and its particular history I decided to visit the memorial and subsequently to photograph it. It is rare to find a war memorial with Christ on the cross. Most are simple crosses, or often sculptures of figures, either soldiers or more allegorical figures such as Peace or Victory. The fact that Princethorpe’s memorial was organised in large part by the Nuns from the local priory is also particular. Part of the reason I wished to undertake the work was the fact that nearly all memorials were, and are, expressions of local grief, and not an official statement on the war. Because of this we see in these memorials a range of responses throughout all levels of society and a particular voice from history is preserved.
Please check out the link to see further images of the war memorial – kindly taken by parishioner John O’Kelly.
The memorial is also listed on the Memorial On-line website – please use the link to access the information.
To raise funds for the restoration the parish held a dinner at Harrington’s Restaurant in Kenilworth. Further donations came from a raffle at the recently held parish summer BBQ.
The cemetery at St Anne’s also has a rich history with the oldest grave dating from 1800s.