Webpage created: February 01, 2016.
Webpage updated: March 05, 2017
GREAT WAR MEMORIAL
Devonport War Memorial.
Some two thousand men and women from the Town gave their lives during the Great War and they are commemorated on the Great War War Memorial in Devonport "People's Park".
Devonport in the years after the amalgamation with Plymouth was very jealous of its own identity and the Town Council refused to join with Plymouth in the creation of a war memorial for the Three Towns. It even wanted theirs unveiled on a different day from that in Plymouth.
Lord Saint Levan led the committee responsible for the scheme and Mr G H Smith was vice-chairman. There were no fewer than three honorary joint secretaries, Messrs W H Mountstephen, H Swiss, and Clifford Tozer, and two honorary joint treasurers, Messrs E Nicholls and H C Salway.
The Great War Memorial was designed by a Mr C Cheverton FSA and built by Mr J B Hunt, of Plymouth. It is in the form of a Cornish granite Gothic Cross, 33ft high, capped with an ornamental lantern and cross. In front of the shaft is the figure of Victory in white marble while the bronze panel contains the Devonport Borough arms in relief. At the rear is a bronze panel bearing the emblems of the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force with the inscription: ~To the immortal memory of the citizens of Devonport who fell in the Great War. ~
Field Marshall the Right Honourable the Lord Methuen GCB, SCMG, GCVO, unveiled the Memorial on the afternoon of Wednesday March 14th 1923. Two seaplanes from Lee-on-Solent provided a fly-past. Also present were the Mayor of Plymouth, and detachments representing the Army, the Royal Navy, the Air Force, the British Legion, the Post Office, the tramways, the Police, and the nursing profession. The massed bands of the Royal Navy and Devonshire Regiment provided the music.
One wonders if they realised the significance of Lord
Saint Levan's remarks: 'It will also serve to
point out the path of duty to those who come afterwards should they receive
a call similar to that which our brothers and sisters so nobly responded'.
They only had to wait sixteen years.