St Pol de Leon Roll of Honour

Paul Church
Our New Roll of Honour

Early last year it was noticed that our internal Roll of Honour, which is located near the Solomon Brown Memorial, was in a sad state and it was taken to a specialist firm in Truro for appraisal. The inspection report stated that over the years it had suffered from the elements having been placed against a damp north wall. The vellum had crinkled and deteriorated so that it was now difficult to read the names and impossible to make any additions to the roll. In short it was not fit for purpose.

It was agreed that we would investigate whether it was possible to have it replaced with a similar framed roll on vellum but this proved not to be a simple task. Calligraphers who work on vellum are a rare breed but thanks to an article in the Daily Telegraph in November 2003, which Sue Harrison had cut out and kept thinking it might prove to be useful in the future, we had a contact. The article was about a cloistered order of Benedictine nuns, founded in 1882, who resided at St Cecilia’s Abbey in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Last August we wrote to their Art Department and although they had never worked on a war memorial they accepted the challenge with enthusiasm.

We forwarded a copy of our existing Roll of Honour to the abbey and also updated the names with the addition of three who, following extensive research, should have been on the original. The name of L/Cpl Darren Hicks, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010, was added and also space was left for the casualties of any future conflicts.

The Art Department’s first task was to locate a piece of vellum of the required size that had no blemishes or imperfections. The first piece was rejected but thankfully they were able to cut it up for smaller projects. The second was perfect and last month Sister Elizabeth started her work which is expected to take about six weeks. A task not to be rushed! Our plan is to have it up in the church in time for Remembrance Sunday which this year will be on the 10th of November.

The total cost of the project, including framing in a sealed unit, is in the region of £900 and to date we have raised about half this amount thanks to generous donations from the Mousehole Branch of the Royal British Legion, two individuals and the proceeds of the morning collection taken in Paul Church last Remembrance Sunday. Requests for a grant were made to two national organisations but were unsuccessful. As many relations and friends of those named on the Roll of Honour still live in the parish it is felt that they might like to have the opportunity to make a contribution towards the remaining cost. Other members of the community are also more than welcome to contribute. Donations, which can be gift – aided, should be given to Roger Bond, the Treasurer. Cheques should be made payable to Paul Church.