Silverwood Logo by John Doxey background photo Mick Carver1900 - 1994

Dedicated to the Miners of Silverwood

History of the Mine

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Silverwood Mine

Hollings Lane

Thrybergh

South Yorkshire England

Webmaster John Doxey

Main Photos Jonathan Dabbs.

Additional content Mick Carver

 

 

 

 

 

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DALTON MAIN WAR MEMORIAL 1923

 

After the first world war many Cities, Towns and Villages erected memorials to honour those who had died in this conflict. The memorial shown below was built in 1923 amidst a small clump of trees known to the locals as the Little Wood. Its actual name was Roundwood and it was located on Hollings Lane between the then managers house and Silverwood Colliery. This elevated position overlooked the view of Dalton in the Valley below.

 

Photo copyright and courtesy Mick CarverThis memorial was in fact built by Dalton Main Collieries Ltd. in honour of their employees both at Silverwood and Roundwood Collieries who had died in service during the great war.
The company engaged Lieutenant Colonel J. B. Knight T. D. J. P. to design a fitting tribute, and Messrs Chadwick and Co. Ltd. of Rotherham were given the task of building it. Now the stonework at the base of the monument was constructed from the stone existing at the location, and Cornish Granite was used for the octagonal column. The General Electric Co. Ltd. of Sheffield supplied the five foot  high beacon. A power line was then run down to the site from Silverwood colliery to supply power for the electric lamps.
To finish off the the memorial Dunford Bridge rustic paving was laid around the cenotaph and a stone wall was constructed around the paving. Messrs Yates and Heywood supplied bronze plates upon which where inscribed the names of those who had fallen. These were placed inside a alcove made of stone. Accompanying the names was the inscription Let your light so shine before men.
The unveiling of the memorial took place in December 1923, Mr. F. Parker Rhodes chairman of the Dalton Main Company carried out the unveiling and the Bishop of Sheffield performed the dedication.
Many local dignitaries were invited to attend the ceremony including Sir William H. Ellis, Sir Chas and Lady Ellis, and a Mr F. J. Dundas who were Directors of the company. Other company officials were A. Blenkinsop General Manager, H. Wright Sales Agent, F. H. Frost secretary to the colleries, W. H. Ball the Manager of Silverwood, G. Wilshaw the Manager of Roundwood.
Local Churches were represented by Rev. G. H. C. Bowen St Leonards , Rev. J. E. Reding Rotherham Wesleyan Methodist Circuit Minister, Rev. R. Gregory  St. Peters Thrybergh,  Rev. W. Dyer Vicar of Eastwood, and Rev Canon A. Hayes of Vicar of Christ Church Park Gate.
On the day Sergeant Major T. E. Troop and Mr. E. Butler were appointed the marshalls of the procession which gathered outside the Colliery Offices.
Silverwood Brass Band with members of the Rawmarsh Prize Band and also the Rotherham Borough Brass Band led the procession from the offices to the Memorial to a march known as Strains of the Dead. A massed choir consisting of choirs from members of churches in the Thrybergh, Ravenfield and Dalton area followed behind the Band. Next in the procession led by Sergeant Major Troop were local ex service men. The group of local clergymen who attended led by the Lord Bishop of Sheffield then followed the service men. Behind the Clergy came the Colliery directors , the colliery ambulances, and bringing up the rear were mourners and members of the public.
Many of the relatives had made their way to the memorial and with a large public gathering waited for the procession to arrive.
Upon the arrival of the procession the service of dedication began and Rev G. H. C. Bowen announced the first hymn which was "For all the Saints who from their labours rest" The Rev. Bowen then recited two prayers. This was followed by the reading of the lesson from the Rev. J. Reding, and then Mr. Parker Rhodes was asked to unveil the bronze tablets draped with a union Jack and bearing the names of those who had fallen.
The Bishop of Sheffield then dedicated the Beacon Light with the words " In the faith of of Jesus Christ we dedicate this war memorial to the honour and glory of almighty God, and in loving and honoured memory of the men of these two collieries who gave their lives for King and country in the Great War, in the name of the father, of the son, and of the holy Ghost".
Four buglers from the York and Lancaster Regiment 5th battalion then played the last  post.
Lady Ellis then stepped forward and laid the first wreath at the foot of the memorial, as the congregation sang the hymn "Hark! the sound of holy voices." The general thanksgiving prayer was then read by the Rev R. Gregory, and was followed by another apt hymn for the occasion
"The radiant morn hath passed away".
The beacon light was then switched on to the opening notes of the stirring Reveille.
The Lord Bishop of Sheffield then concluded the service with a blessing and a very commendable moving speech, the most memorable lines from that speech were the words " Our Country never stood so high in the esteem of the world as it did in the Great War" " This was because nearly everybody did what they could, and that hundreds of thousands some of which are present risked everything, even life itself.
The beacon tower was in memory of those whom God called home in that great and arduous strife, it stood as a memorial of how great a mining community regarded those who were part of their membership, those whom they had known, worked with, and played with in days gone by.
Silverwood Colliery had lost 250 men, and Roundwood lost 62, a tragic total of 312 lives

 

THE RELOCATION OF THE MEMORIAL

 

So the memorial stood there proudly shining its light, until the blight of the second half of the last century struck, mindless vandalism  ! !

The brass plaques that had proudly born the names of those service men for years were stolen, stolen by thieves who I doubt had the mentality to comprehend what these plaques represented.
Thankfully Thrybergh Parish Council took a great initiative and decided that they would move the memorial to a safer place, not having the funds to pay for the cost they approached Rotherham Borough Council for a grant. They succeeded in the application and then approached local business for donations to achieve payment of the final cost.
Kevin Russell of Belmont Constructions was given the contract to remove the memorial and reconstruct it outside the Thrybergh Parish Hall. As can be seen from the photo the reconstruction was very successful.
Again the community spirit inspired by the council saw Mr Cartwright who was at that time the Manager of Silverwood Colliery chipping in with a new electric cable to once more ensure that the beacon shone its light before men . Fosters Garden Centre long renowned for their community spirit sent along two benches for people to sit on. A technical Teacher from Thrybergh Comprehensive School then applied his knowledge and expertise in the rebuilding of the Lantern.
The whole effort took three months to complete.
I am left with a feeling of admiration for the people involved in this, the saving of a monument, for there is no doubt this monument would have eventually been destroyed had it been left in its original position.

 

 2004 John Doxey

 

 

 

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