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Ash Cemetery Chapel and Memorial Windows

East Window in Ash Cemetery Chapel The Chapel is 25 feet long and 14 feet wide and built of Bath Stone with a high pitched tiled roof and large wooden south doorway. The builders were Messrs Tompsett and Kingham of Farnham whose tender was 540, and work was completed early in 1889. The pulpit and vestments cupboard are still in their original positions, and two of the pews now provide seating in the museum.

The remarkable windows in the Chapel are memorials to the men of Ash, Wyke and Normandy who died in the Great War, gifts of local benefactor Henry Morris Chester of Poyle Park. The window at the east end was unveiled in February 1921. Dr Chester personally removed the Union Jack with which it was covered, saying, "I have great pleasure in presenting this beautiful window to the glorious memory of those who laid down their lives that we might live in safety". The Reverend Lambrick said prayers, and members of the Ash Burial Board looked on.

Dr Chester added the window at the west end in September 1922. Dr Chester also provided the organ for the chapel, which is now on display in the museum.

West Window in Ash Cemetery Chapel
The inscription in the glass at the bottom of the east window says:

PRESENTED BY HM CHESTER LLD (Cantab) of POYLE PARK
To the Memory of the men of Ash Wyke and Normandy killed in the Great War 1914-1920
who died that we might live in safety
DOLCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI

The Latin motto is from the Roman poet Horace,
and means "Sweet and fitting it is to die for the fatherland"

Underneath the east window the brass plaque reads:
SONS OF OUR LAND, LET THIS OF YOU BE SAID,
THAT YOU WHO LIVE ARE WORTHY OF OUR DEAD,
THESE GAVE THEIR LIVES THAT YOU MAY LIVE TO REAP
A NOBLER HARVEST ERE YOU FALL ASLEEP.

Underneath the west window the brass plaque reads:
THE COLOURED GLASS IN THIS WINDOW WAS PRESENTED BY
HM CHESTER LLD (CANTAB) OF POYLE PARK
IN THE PARISH OF SEALE, THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THIS
DIVISION ON THE SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL FOR 21 YEARS. SEPTEMBER 1922.

The glass was made by J Whippell and Company of Exeter and London, and is beautifully executed in strong vibrant colours. The artist was John Ives, who was himself conscripted into the Army during the closing months of the Great War. Ives worked for Whippell from 1912 until he retired in 1932, and examples of the work of this talented artist can be seen throughout England as well as overseas.

The chapel windows depict forceful warlike images of biblical characters, some with unfamiliar names like Abijah, Benaiah, Abishai and Jashobeam. One character, Jonathan, 'son of Shimeah the brother of David', killed a giant at the Battle of Gath, an allusion perhaps to the need to overcome monstrous enemies as in the story of David and Goliath. If you look closely at the east window you will notice that the giant is shown with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. The small windows in the north and south walls depict Absolom, Jonathan (son of King Saul) and St Michael.

The windows are recorded in the UK National Inventory of War Memorials (Ref 51749) at the Imperial War Museum.

Ash War Memorial

Ash Cemetery and Burial Board


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