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Radwinter War Memorial Explained

Stan Sutherland has been researching the history on the Radwinter War Memorial. He will be giving an illustrated talk on the memorial, entitled Radwinter Fallen During the Two World Wars in Radwinter Village Hall at 7.45 pm on Wednesday 12th October 2005. Admission will be free to members of the Radwinter Society with a charge of £1.00 to non-members.

Membership fees at £5.00 for 2005/6 are now due. This will entitle members to vote at meetings and to free admission to the planned series of quarterly talks of Radwinter interest. Please use the Radwinter Society membership form available from Radwinter Post Office when joining or renewing your subscription, or telephone me, Michael Southgate, on 01799 599478 to ask for a form to be sent to you.


At the AGM on 12th July, the retiring Chairman thanked all those who contributed to making the Radwinter During the Second World War exhibition an outstanding success. He thanked Grace Simmonds, whose idea it originally was and who worked hard throughout the project to make it a success; her husband Leon, who produced fifty certificates of attendance for the children from Radwinter School who attended the Friday preview, as well as for our guest of honour.

He also thanked Graham Schneider, who not only proved an outstanding quizmaster and caterer at the preliminary quiz night he organised but was also responsible for the layout of the exhibition itself and its security. Well over £200 was raised at both events for the British Legion.

Stan Sutherland, ran a family history stall at the exhibition and displayed memorials of the Radwinter fallen. Several photographs were brought in and Stan copied them overnight and put the copies on display. By the end of the exhibition all the people in the photographs had been identified, including an entire pre-war Radwinter cricket team and the ladies of the Women’s Institute.

Mentions in despatches for distinguished service went to all those who helped before and during the exhibition Marion Gillon, who kept a watchful eye on the exhibits throughout the exhibition Sue Taylor and Gwyneth Southgate who mounted the graphic displays Cllr John Hardisty, who helped set up the displays and explained them to the visitors Cllr. Sue Schneider who logged and captioned the exhibits Eric Rust, who managed the Village Hall every day and night! and Regimental Sergeant Major Adrian Webster who photographed the exhibits.

The stalwarts of Radwinter WI, Jo Bacon, Kath and Penny Browne, Olive Cowell, Jane Lawrence Carol LeClerk, Dianne Redfern and June Tupper, provided authentic World War II catering during the exhibition and helped create the right atmosphere as well as making a major contribution to the fundraising for the Royal British Legion. The kind people who lent their treasured possessions were also heroes of the hour, including many individual people from Radwinter and beyond as well as Carolyn Wingfield, Curator, and her team from Saffron Walden Museum, the proprietors of Saffron Walden Medal Shop Trading Post and the manageress of St. Clare’s Hospice Trust’s Saffron Walden charity shop. Lastly but by no means least, we owe a great debt of honour to the several hundred people from Radwinter and elsewhere who visited the exhibition to share their memories and turn what otherwise would have been an interesting and informative display into a highly memorable event that will long be remembered.

A major outcome of the exhibition was the re-discovery of a sculpture by Karl Weschke, which had been lost to the art world. Weschke who died this year, was the leading artist of the Cornish School. Carolyn Wingfield was in touch with Karl Weshcke’s widow, who is delighted that at least one of his sculptures has survived. She let us know that Weschke also prepared set designs for shows that the German Prisoners of War put on in the Radwinter Camp theatre. By great good fortune, photographs of the German Prisoners of War and of one of their shows, were lent to us for the Exhibition by David Haylock. We were able to copy these and send photographs of Karl Weshcke's set designs to his widow.

Contact: Michael Southgate, Village History Recorder

Telephone 01799 599478

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