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The Wilmot Graves.

 

The Grave of Sir Henry Wilmot VC.

Some sixteen months ago I made contact with the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Victoria Cross Committee who are looking to restore the Wilmot Family graves in St.Mary’s Churchyard , Chaddesden.


The Wilmot Graves, St Mary’s Churchyard, Chaddesden.


Their main interests are, Victoria Cross Recipients, WW1, remembrance, and the history of these brave men. Since 2005 they have unveiled three individual memorials in Nottingham cemeteries followed, in May of 2010, by a memorial to 20 of these men from Nottingham & Nottinghamshire in the grounds of Nottingham Castle.



During their travels the group visited St. Mary’s Church, Chaddesden, to visit the grave of Sir Henry Wilmot VC and they eventually found that the research books showed the wrong location for it. They were then helped by Peter Cholerton, a local historian, who told them the location of the correct plot, they then found that the grave had at some time been turned round along with Sir Henry’s sister Constance’s grave. They then had a meeting with the Rev Wayne Stillwell and Peter Cholerton and it was agreed that they would raise the funds to renovate the plot. This was followed by a suggestion from their secretary that they could involve the local community and schools and plant the whole of the churchyard up. This idea was put to the Rev Stillwell who agreed, and an approximate date for completion would be late spring or early summer 2012.



We are now in August 2012 and the project has undergone a considerable delay and at the request of some of our members I recently made and enquiry as to how the project was coming along. This was the reply I received from the committee.


Hi Andrew

The project at St Marys is now moving again, we have had a price for the work to the Sir Henry Wilmot VC family plot for well over 15 months, which we are please to say that the stonemasons are holding for us.

We recently had a meeting with Wayne where a few things were discussed and cleared up, he would to like to involve the local community (which we have always wanted) including a number of schools that Wayne is involved with, he has asked Tony to give a presentation to these groups, also one to his congregation during a Sunday service, date to be arranged.

Our Secretary has just sent a number of letters out regarding funding for the project now it has started moving again, and we are looking at other fund raising idea’s.

We have a further meeting next week with Wayne where we hope to finalise more details, I will keep you informed of the progress so you can pass on the information to your members

Due to the delays we have had, we decided to bring other project’s forward, Harry Churchill Beet VC in St Marys and All Saints church, Bingham, completed earlier in the year, we are in the process of completing a project to commemorate fourteen Victoria Cross recipients at Golders Green in London.

We have a site meeting there on the 17th September, to confirm a date, and final details for the dedication and unveiling, we are researching another project in Leicestershire as well, I am telling you of these to show that we like to move and complete any projects that we start.

I will send you an update after the meeting next week

Derek.

I replied,


Hi Derek,

That is all fantastic news and I will pass on your words to not only our members but also to The Chaddesden Ladies Tuesday Club , my branch of the RBL and finally to The Friends of Chaddesden Park who are all showing a lot of interest in your project. None of these groups have been briefed by Wayne as yet but I am making sure that their interest in your project is kept up to speed. Our newsletters, and in particular our website, certainly have a keen following with our site averaging 35,000 hits per month, and these outlets draw attention to community issues such as the Wilmot family and their part in Chaddesdens history.


Thank you for the update on your other projects and we certainly have no question as to your dedication to your projects. I know that my group as well as the other three mentioned above appear to be out of the loop at the moment but I can assure you of their support once I have spoken to them.


Best Regards Andrew


This is all good news and we will keep everyone informed of the groups progress. The following link will take you straight to the relevant page of N&NVCC’s website. AJB


http://www.nottinghamshire-victoria-cross-memorial.org.uk/Sir_Henry_Wilmot_VC.html


After a further exchange of messages I received the following timetable of events formulated after a recent meeting between those concerned. 


Hi Andrew


Tony, our Chairman, had a very successful meeting with Wayne, who is being very supportive of the whole project. Here is a brief outline of the outcome of the meeting.


1. There will be a short presentation during a Sunday morning service in October by Tony, our Chairman. Wayne will also talk about the project at a date to be confirmed.


2. Then, a number of local schools will have a presentation, given again by Tony and Wayne.


3. The renovation work will take place early in the New Year; the headstone will be removed to Ernest Smiths Stonemason workshop in Nottingham where the work will be carried out.


4. After discussions with Wayne, we are looking at a Sunday afternoon on 21st April next year for the rededication service.


5. The full extent of the work will depend on funds that we manage to raise, (The donation from the “Ladies Tuesday club” is still in our account).


6. We have full permission from the current Sir Henry Wilmot, who has visited the Churchyard and attended one of our meetings. He is making a contribution towards the cost of the work.


7. Wayne is supplying a letter to provide the necessary authority to work in the churchyard.


8. Tony has a further meeting with Wayne in September, to finalise the presentation and date in the church during October, on a date to be confirmed.


9. Fund raising; if anyone wishes to do any fund raising, or make a donation to the project, it would be very much appreciated. We have approached both Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council for funding. Derby City Council has replied and asked us to attend a meeting with them, and the County Council has also replied and will be speaking to us next month (September). We are now looking at other methods of fund raising for the Sir Henry Wilmot Project and the rest of our current schemes. Any help in fund raising that your History Group or contacts could give, would be very much appreciated.


10. Any donations can be made directly to us, or through Bt Mydonate website

https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/thenottinghamnottinghamshirevictoriacrosscommittee This is a very secure way of donating, run by BT, who also will claim gift aid back for us. You can also send donations to our Registered Office 9 Priors Close, Bingham, Nottinghamshire, NG12 8EP


I will keep you informed of progress


Best wishes


Derek


This brings us fully up to date with the plans as at 29th Sept 2012 and hopefully we will see completion of the project in Spring 2013.


Andrew Bailey.


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