Parish of Exning with Landwade

Rolls of Honour

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This page describes the Rolls of Honour at the back of St Martin's Church in Exning.

(for the excellent "Exning Remembers" website about those recorded on the War Memorial please click here)

Two illuminated Rolls of Honour were re-discovered in the Bell Tower of St Martin’s Church, Exning in 2010.

The Rolls of Honour list all the men from Exning who fought in World War 1, 1914-18.  

The Rolls list the names of 290 men, and provide information on regiment in which they served, their rank, if they were married or single, and where they lived in Exning. 

The information on the Rolls of Honour has been transcribed and can be seen sorted in various ways

As seen on the panels      By Name      By Address

The Rolls of Honour are unusual in so much as they list all the men that served, rather than those who died in the War.

The Rolls were presented by Mr. George Townsend JP of Westwood House, Church Street, Exning.  

The Rolls are approximately 3’ by 2’6” in size. Both items are painted in thick gouache and watercolour with gold leaf highlights (stippled so that they reflect the light), with text in ink with gouache capitals. The style is similar to that of Medieval manuscript illumination, made popular at the end of the nineteenth century by William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. It is beautifully done, especially as three years separate the two documents.

This Roll of Honour was closed on November 14th 1914 since that date others have joined the forces. This was presented and hung up in Exning Church Xmas 1914 by George Townsend.

This Roll of Honour was closed on July31st 1917 and was presented and hung up in Exning Church Aug 4th 1917 by George Townsend. 

The oak frames were damaged, dirty and badly worn, but essentially sound.

Both Rolls of Honour were covered with mould in their central sections. This has been removed, although it has left staining.  Both paintings have been vastly improved by surface cleaning, and although stained they remain beautiful works of art.
The costs of restoration were in the region of £220 each (ex VAT).
The Restorer said how fortunate the Parish is to own such beautiful and important historical documents, and that a PhD thesis could be based on the information that they supply, and they will provide vital evidence for family and local historians alike.

See detailed description and report by the conservator

Having been restored, they are now displayed in St. Martin’s Church behind the font. 

If anyone has any information about these Rolls of Honour, who they were presented to, and when they were presented? Could they contact Roger Stubbs Tel. 01638=614877.

More information and photos will be added in due course

We are currently investigating to add further information about addresses as part of the

2014 Exning Enlistment Re-Enactment project

which will lead to a World War I commemoration event later in the year:

For a version of the information as currently know, but sorted by 2014 addresses click here.

We hope to add more detail from 1911 Census


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