Youlgreave to Ypres

The Youlgreave 1914 – 1918 Community Group was formed through the All Saints’ parish church in the spring of 2014 using the idea from the Derbyshire Diocese that local churches would have a key role in the commemoration of the centenary of The Great War.

The group’s aim has been to investigate the history of the men and women, within their community over the period of the conflict, both those who served and those left at home, to use what was learnt to inform parishoners – in particular the younger ones; to enhance the understanding amongst all ages and to awaken their interests; and to involve as many people, groups and organisations in as many different aspects of the commemorations as they could.

In doing this to date the group has organised events working closely with the Church, the local branch of The Royal British Legion and the village Church of England School. Other local groups have included the Women’s Institute; the football club; village well-dressers; Youlgreave Cinema Club; Village Community Land Trust; along with local actors, playwrites and individual parishoners.

The group have been researching relevant local history – both stories from overseas as well as from the home front, which with the support of the Youlgreave Parish Council, form a regular feature in the parish ‘Bugle’ magazine.

Within All Saints’ Church is a memorial window to a local soldier who was killed in action in Gallipoli in 1915. His elder brother (Captain Charles Waterhouse, 1st Life Guards) had collected some stained- glass fragments from war damaged St Martin’s Cathedral and other churches in Ypres where he had been serving, and with the permission of the relevant authorities had brought them back. These fragments were later used to form the roundels within this memorial window.

This window and its wartime connection was the inspiration to the group in having a stained- glass memorial to commemorate the centenary. The three dimensional art piece will be in two sections – with one half in All Saints’ Church and the other in St Martin’s Cathedral in Ypres, with the thought that they will be exchanged periodically over the coming years.

In 2017 parishoners were invited to submit designs for this memorial. The design chosen incorporates many of the submitted ideas, in particular those from the children within its stained-glass sections.

The group are in regular liaison with the authorities in Ypres, and are working to present the piece in August 2018.