Over 600 Crosses laid outside Charterhouse Memorial Chapel
Today on Remembrance Sunday, we are holding Services of Remembrance for those Carthusians lost in wars, with the laying of poppy wreaths by the Head Boy and Head Girl and their deputies. Our pupils have laid 698 crosses outside the Charterhouse Memorial Chapel to honour those Carthusians who lost their lives in the First World War, along with silhouettes placed around campus, designed by Martyn Humphries and based on a 1912 drawing of pupils at Charterhouse in Officer Training Corps uniforms.
The laying of 698 crosses
A Time Lapse video capturing the process of laying nearly 700 crosses, filmed by Art Teacher James Bingham and Gavin Plowright
The drawing by Mr FH Round, Assistant Art Master at Charterhouse in 1912, depicting pupils at Charterhouse in Officer Training Corps uniforms during WW1
This year marks over a hundred years since the start of the process to erect the Charterhouse Memorial Chapel, and also marks a hundred years since the first Remembrance Sunday.
The Charterhouse Memorial Chapel was the inspiration of Frank Fletcher (Headmaster 1911-1935), who began fundraising for a new Chapel in August 1917 when alumni losses had already overtaken the number of boys in the School. It was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and funded by private donations from parents, alumni and staff. The foundation stone was laid on 17 June 1922 by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the completed Chapel was consecrated on 18 June 1927.
The foundations of The Memorial Chapel in 1923
Six hundred and eighty-seven of those who died in the First World War are named on commemorative panels in the School’s Memorial Chapel. Names are listed by year of leaving school and then alphabetically, save where later addenda have been placed into available space; two School servants have also been added at the end of the final panel. Opposite, on the east-facing wall, are panels bearing the names of 340 Old Carthusians who fell in the Second World War. For the three masters (one of whom is also listed as a pupil) there are inscriptions within the Chapel itself, alongside the transverse pews immediately to east of the half-wall.
The roof of the Chapel begins to form in 1924
Some Old Carthusian casualties are not named on the Chapel panels. The School’s final War List was completed in December 1919 and those who died later of injuries sustained during the conflict were not included. Given the scale of the conflict it is not surprising that further omissions have emerged since and, although a few have been added out of sequence, others remain unlisted. A wall tablet installed in Chapel’s north-west porch in 2014 acknowledges collectively these others who also lost their lives; the names of three Old Carthusians killed in Korea, Aden and Afghanistan are also listed in the north-west porch.
The newly completed Chapel in 1927
For more information on the Charterhouse World War One Memorial, please see the Charterhouse Roll of Honour, a website commemorating all those Old Carthusians and members of staff who perished in the First World War.