Grimsby Baptist Church

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Reference WMO261034


246-248 Laceby Road


DN34 5DW


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Status: On subsequent site(s)
Type: Freestanding
Location: Internal
Setting: Attached to a building/structure
Description: Board/Plaque/ Tablet
  • Stone Marble
Lettering: Inscribed on a plaque
  • First World War (1914-1918)
About the memorial: This church was opened in 1959, whilst the hall next door in 1957, and was used for worship until the church had been completed. However, these were new premises, built to replace the old church on the corner of Burgess Street and Victoria Street, in the old centre of Grimsby. This was built at a time when the population of the town of Grimsby was expanding around the area of the new dock which had been built in the 1850’s. This new dock named after Princess Alexander, brought trade to the town and with it people. These people needed a spiritual life, one provided by the Baptists, as well as a number of new non-conformist chapels. In a corridor just outside the actual church is the war memorial that was originally placed in the old church in memory of the members of the congregation who had fallen in the Great War. Such is the clarity of the writing on the stonework of the memorial that no further explanation is necessary. The black lettering stands out clearly on the white marble. A laurel wreath is the only decoration. The memorial measures 710mm high and 790 mm wide. There is a plaque near the front door of the church, a foundation stone, marking the move from the old church to this new one, which is now used by a printing company. The memorial was unveiled during the Sunday evening service on the 19th September, 1920. The article in “The Grimsby News” on Friday, September 24th went as follows:- IN MEMORIAM Tablet Unveiled at Baptist Tabernacle To the accompaniment of a service, impressive by its simplicity: solemn by its sincerity, the congregation of the Baptist Tabernacle saw their war memorial unveiled on Sunday evening. It was a sincere and fitting tribute to their dead and the ceremony will live as one of the milestones in the career of the church. No greater tribute to the fourteen soldiers, whose names adorn the marble tablet, could be given than the broken utterance of Mr. W. Wilson, the venerable father of the church, who just before he laid bare the tablet said: “I dare not trust myself to say much of them. I loved them all”. Prior to the actual unveiling, a short service was held of which the Rev. T. B. Hainsworth had charge. It differed little or nothing, from hundreds of other services of a like kind held since the termination of the war, but there was nothing stereotyped about is so far as that congregation was concerned. It was very obviously their own wish to commemorate the supreme sacrifice of some of their number. The pastor based his remarks on the verse “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”, and broke no new ground in his thoughtfully short discourse. Few, he said could appreciate the completeness of the sacrifice they, they had remembered, had made, cut off as they were, just when life was unfolding its possibilities. They had made it possible for all to live and worship in peace, and had saved us from untold horrors at the hands of a ruthless foe. They, by war, had made it possible for those who remained to reap the benefits of peace. Those who fell, did so with the thought of a better, purer England, fair, fresh and free, and it was up to those who were left to make it so. They should utter no word that would provoke strife but in industrial, political and national life should speak and act for conciliation. By doing so they would honour the memory of those whose names graced the tablet that would be unveiled that night. The names on the tablet were then read, the congregation standing. After a hymn following the discourse, the congregation gathered in the vestibule and the street, while Mr. W. Wilson, senior deacon of the church, and a member of the church for some 54 years performed the unveiling ceremony. He said little under the obvious stress of great emotion, but referred to the fact that not only the boys but many of their parents had been known to him as scholars of the Sunday School. The memorial he had the honour to unveil would last beyond the memories and lives of those present and even the church itself would crumble to dust before the memorial tablet would be effaced. The tablet is in white marble bearing the names of fourteen men with a laurel wreath and inscription above. On Sunday several wreaths were laid below it, in themselves ample evidence of the sincerity of the remembrance of the names of the men whose names appear on the tablet.
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