Arlesey Memorial Project
Remembering Arlesey Heroes
The War Memorial The memorial in Arlesey stands at the junction of the High Street, Church Lane and House Lane. It was first discussed at local meetings in 1919, but the original suggestions were quite different from what was later decided. It has come to light there were in fact three memorials to the fallen soldiers in Arlesey – the memorial on the triangle at the start of the High Street, one in St Peter’s Church and another in the Wesleyan Chapel (now a private residence). The early discussions and meetings about a memorial for the village were reported in the Biggleswade Chronicle. The following are extracts of newspaper cuttings from the time. (The text has been copied as written) 1919 The news in the February parish Magazine (which is type-written), states that the main study that is before the parish now is the course to be adopted for a memorial of our brave dead. What shall it be? Fresh suggestions are coming in: Four almshouses endowed and placed in the hands of trustees; A piece of land in Mid-Village, with a common for the children to play in instead of the streets. A Church-end Parishioner” has suggested as part of the memorial, the re-planting of young elms to take the place of those that have been cut down recently in The Chase. 1919 Parish Church. In accordance with the suggestion of the Archbishops, the vicar, on Sunday evening, preached a special sermon on the duty of thanksgiving for God’s mercies to us as a nation during the past year. Special prayers were offered for our statesmen at this time, and for those to assemble at the Peace Conference. At the close of the service, standing before the temporary memorial, the vicar read out the names of the 69 men from Arlesey who had fallen in the war, the congregation standing, also during the playing of Greig’s Funeral Lament, most feelingly given on the organ by Frank Allen. Immediately after the “Roll of Honour” had been read, the service concluded with the National Anthem. The vicar intimated in...Read More
Alricheseia, Alriceseia (xi cent.); Ailricheseye (xiii cent.); Alrilseye, Arleycheseye (xvi cent.); Arlesey, Aldrichsey (xvii cent.). Reputedly one of the longest High Streets in the country, at around three miles long, Arlesey sits in the valley of the river Hiz. Its meandering High Street roughly follows the river on its travels north towards Biggleswade from Hitchin and Ickleford. Originally three distinct ‘manors’ – Etonbury to the north, Arleseybury (a royal manor) more central and Lanthony further south, Arlesey has always been predominantly a farming community. Arlesey’s past is varied with four mentions in the Doomsday Book of 1086, a huge train crash in December 1876, the site for major brick-making and cement works plus a huge self-contained hospital/asylum to the east built in the late 1800’s. St Peter’s Church sits to the north of the parish, with its earliest parts dating from the 12th century, is documented as having a market close by. One of only 10 listed buildings in the village the church was originally built by the monks of Waltham Abbey. At one stage around 20 public houses served the population with a concentration around the brick-works and cement-works. Boasting two railway stations on the Great Northern Railway, around two miles apart, from the opening of the railways in 1850 these also served the surrounding villages, brick-works and cement-works plus visitors to the large Three Counties Asylum. Both stations were victims of the Beeching cuts in the 1960’s, but in 1988 one was re-instated to the north, giving Arlesey its rail links back. The War Memorial stands proud at the north of the High Street on triangular junction with Church Lane and House Lane. With its statue of a First World soldier facing south in the reverse arms ceremonial stance, it bears the names of the fallen soldiers from both the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Today Arlesey has grown to a population of almost 6000, and is set to increase with the adoption of a new masterplan for over 1300...Read More
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The War Memorial The memorial in...
Alricheseia, Alriceseia (xi cent.);...