In 2020, as part of the Cemetery Restoration Project, a beautiful Garden of Remembrance has been laid out in Rectory Lane Cemetery. Within this garden a new War Memorial has been created to commemorate people buried in the Cemetery who served in the First and Second World Wars, and who died as a result of their injuries.
We have 27 Commonwealth War Graves in the Cemetery. In addition to these burials, volunteer researchers identified 23 individuals who had died as a consequence of injuries sustained while fighting in WWI or WWII, but for various reasons did not receive a CWGC headstone. Their names have also been included on this new memorial.
50 people are commemorated on the central timber totem, inscribed ‘Lest We Forget’. This totem is flanked by smaller totems bearing the messages ‘Rest in Peace’ and ‘Live in Peace’. All the names inscribed here are buried in Rectory Lane Cemetery; several are also commemorated on the Town War Memorial outside St Peter’s Church, and on another war memorial inside the church.
Because of the difficulties presented by the current COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately it has not been possible to hold a public dedication ceremony for the new War Memorial. However, on Remembrance Sunday 2020, we were honoured when representatives of the Berkhamsted branch of the Royal British Legion came to lay wreaths at the new War Memorial. Chris Richards (Club President) and Graham Hawes (Club Chairman) were joined by socially distanced members of the community, who had spontaneously come to Rectory Lane Cemetery to view the ceremony and to participate in the two-minute silence. It was a moving occasion for all.
Read more: The Garden of Remembrance War Memorial