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Friday 18 January 2008

Radcliffe Brass, Crosscrake.

Many churches in the county contain individual memorials, most commonly in the form of a brass. This example, in Crosscrake church, commemorates Captain Miles Radcliffe, 2nd Battalion, Border Regiment, killed at Ypres on December 12th, 1914. At the time of his death he was attached to the Royal Scots Fusiliers. The incorporation in the design of laurel leaves to signify victory over death and the Regimental badge of, in this instance The Borders, follow a standard pattern. The plaque was made by Maile & Sons of Euston Road, London, a firm that supplied many ecclesiastical requirements, including memorial brasses and stained glass windows. Another example of their work is at Helsington, outside Kendal.

The quotation, from Revelations, is just one of many phrases gleaned from biblical or literary texts that were employed to suggest the moral or chivalric ascendancy of the dead man.

It is interesting that the majority of personal memorials commemorate territorial officers and primarily those who were killed in 1914 & 1915. Such men belonged to the pre-war gentry and these memorials confirmed their and their family's status within communities. I guess after 1915 death became too ordinary to be of note and also, perhaps, statements of inequality were no longer appropriate in the face of mass grief that cut across class divide.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great idea your website is - congratulations. We live in Sedgwick, making Crosscrake our local Church. Whilst at the local school my children often sat under the Radcliffe Brass and I often wondered about the person it commemorated. When we visited Belgium two years ago, we researched Captain Radcliffe and visited the graveyard, near Ypres, where he is buried. His original grave was damaged during the Great War as the Village of Kemmel was shelled and the gravestone is with several others. We have photos and information which my son has collated.