The History of St. James the Less Church
Great War Memorial Window


St. James the Less Church, Tatham, Lancashire

Memorial window

St James the Less Church

The memorial window (west wall)

Left window panel

Right window panel

Peace be still: And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39

Exodus 17:11 & 12: And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. (Joshua triumphs over Amalek)

In memory of those who fought and died,
Joseph Winn (bellringer) and Arthur Harrison

joseph winn
Joseph Winn was born in Bentham in 1875 but grew up at Ashleys farm in Tatham which was farmed by his parents Leonard and Ellen. His younger brother, John, later farmed at Millhouses farm and then at Lane Head farm, Millhouses. Joseph, however, appears to have left the district. In both 1901 and 1911 censuses he was returned as a mole catcher in Leicestershire, first at Coleorton and then in Ashby de la Zouch.

Joseph enlisted initially at Coalville, Leicestershire in the South Staffordshire Regiment but was transferred as a private in the Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment) 5th Battalion, 55th Division.

Joseph died on 22 May 1918 and is buried in Houchin British Cemetery (memorial reference I.B. 16) aged 43. His next of kin was his brother John who gave his address as Mill House farm Tatham. He left £492.

Arthur (James) Harrison was born at Clapham in 1891. His parents were farming at Bracken Garth in 1891 and later at High Birks, near Clapham Station where Arthur was returned as a joiner working in Bentham in 1911. Sometime after that his father moved to Lower and Higher Perries, Old Moor Road, Tatham. Arthur initially joined the Royal Lancaster Regiment but when that disbanded was transferred to the Duke of Cambridge Middlesex Regiment.

He died on 31 May 1917 and is buried at Hem Farm Military Cemetery, Hem-Monacu.

He is also listed on the High Bentham memorial.

History and Installation

archdeacon hornby
The idea of creating a permanent war memorial was first mooted at the parochial church council AGM on 24 April 1919 but a decision was deferred since too few people were present. The window was funded by public subscription.

It was designed and made by the well-regarded Lancaster stained-glass company Shrigley and Hunt whose scale drawings (⅛  scale) were approved by the church council on 22 April 1922. Faculty was granted by the diocese on 10 July 1922 and it was formally dedicated on 22 August 1922 by the Venerable Archdeacon Hornby (1853-1939), vicar of St Michael's on Wyre and Archdeacon of the Lancaster Deanery.1

The window was unveiled by Major Robert Hewitt Barker (1887-1961) MP for Sowerby (1918-1922). The son of John Barker, cotton manufacturer of Stansfield Hall Todmorden, he was also the nephew of the rector, Revd. Arthur Roberts, and his wife Mary Jane and her sister Emily who lived with them at the rectory.2 He had initially worked in the family business and joined the 2nd volunteer battalion Lancashire Fusiliers on 1 March 1907 as second lieutenant, before being transferred to 6th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers the following year. He rose through the ranks as Captain and later Major. During the Great War he served in Egypt, at Gallipoli and finally in France, from where he was invalided home early in 1918.3 He married Violet Kathleen Gartside at Manchester Cathedral in June 1916, the service performed by his uncle, Revd. Arthur Roberts.4

RH Barker Mrs RH Barker

Major Robert Hewitt Barker

Mrs. Violet Kathleen Barker5

But it was not just as the rector's nephew that he had been invited to perform the ceremony.

Lt.-Col. Barker in 1942
The National Association for Discharged Sailors and Soldiers had been responsible for nominating him as parliamentary candidate in December 1918 when their preferred candidate, the Conservative W.A. Simpson-Hinchcliffe, had stood down.6 Barker promised to fight for fair treatment for soldiers, their wives and dependants.7 During 1919 and 1920 he made some 26 speeches in the House of Commons on the issues of pay, employment and particularly pension provision but none thereafter.8 He did not stand again, but was one of those who nominated Simpson-Hinchcliffe in 1922.9 Thereafter he returned to the family business but remained involved with the Territorials, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was appointed a JP in 1942.10

The surplus of the subscription money was used to create the Roll of Honour two years later.




1 Parochial Church Council minutes, St James the Less.
2 Census data. Emily's gravestone is in the cemetery on the north side of the church.
3 London Gazette, 5 April 1907; 2nd volunteer battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers 1 March 1907; London Gazette, 1 April 1908; 2nd lieutenant, 6th volunteer battalion.
4 Todmorden Advertiser, 23 June 1916.
5 Tatler, 5 July 1916. (Mrs R H Barker)
6 Leeds Mercury, 4 December 1918. This association is not to be confused with the more radical National Federation.
7 Graham Wootton, Politics of Influence (Routledge, 2013), pp. 130-39; Todmorden Advertiser, 3 January 1919.
8 Hansard proceedings.
9 Todmorden Advertiser, 22 November 1922.
10 Rochdale Observer, 23 May 1942.

MW 2018
Page created 24-04-2019. Latest update 24-04-2018
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