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Matlock & Matlock Bath : The War Memorials
Commemorating Matlock's and Matlock Bath's War Casualties
War Memorials Index
About the Five Memorials
Matlock Memorial shortly after the unveiling
Unveiling Matlock Bath's Memorial
Remembrance Day,
about 1930
"The Matlock Guide":
Matlock Bath War Memorial
Peace Day, 19 July 1919
Scarthin War Memorial, unveiling programme
Commemorative Souvenirs
Surnames Index
Names on Matlock's War Memorial, WW1, A - J
Names on Matlock's War Memorial, WW1, K - W
Matlock's WW1 Casualties Not on the Memorial
Names on Matlock's War Memorial, WW2
Names on Matlock Bath's War Memorial
Names on Scarthin War Memorial
Names on Starkholmes War Memorial
Before & during WW1
Matlock's National Reservists & Call-up Card
A Christmas Card from the King & Queen in 1914

More on site records or information
About the Five War Memorials
Matlock | Matlock, Hall Leys | Matlock Bath | Scarthin | Starkholmes
For Names on the Memorials use the menu on the right››


Matlock's War Memorial is near St. Giles' Church in Matlock Town, at the summit of Pic Tor Rock
The large, long building extreme centre right is Smedley's Hydro

"He lives in fame that dies in virtue's cause[1]".

The War Memorial for Matlock, a massive Celtic cross in gritstone from local quarries, is at the summit of Pic Tor in Matlock Town. The names of 179 men who died in the Great War of 1914 -19 are inscribed on bronze tablets on the sides of the memorial. After the Second War of 1939 - 45 further names, also on bronze plaques, were added to the monument immediately below the names of the dead from the First War and these are on three of the memorial's four sides.

Described after the unveiling as "a memorial visible for miles around[2]", the photograph above shows this to be no exaggeration. Matlock Bank, in the background, spreads across one of the opposite hillsides. When the monument was suggested as a fitting way to remember the war dead, Matlock's Council "secured for time immemorial the whole of the Pic Tor Rock and land, together with the promenade at the foot of the rock, which runs from the Park to Dale Road[2]". Winding walks were added to the summit at the same time.

There had been a few hiccups along the way. By June 1920 the town's War Memorial collection had only raised £500, over half of which had been given by just seven subscribers. It was hoped a door to door collection would help[3]. In early September it was announced that the Pic Tor Rocks and promenade had been acquired from Frederic Arkwright by Matlock UDC, with the intention of erecting the War Memorial on the top[4].

The memorial was unveiled by Mr. F. C. Arkwright of Willersley, whose son's name was listed amongst the fallen, on Sunday 7th August 1921. His son-in-law was also a Casualty of War. When he addressed the crowd, Frederic Arkwright spoke from the heart about how it felt to lose someone. He added that "the site would be applauded by every one of the inhabitants of Matlock. It was his privilege to be able to find a site for the memorial. He had been in that fortunate position with regard to four memorials, and he believed that [Matlock] would be the last and most important, because it represented the largest population[2]".

The commemoration ceremony took place on a very rainy Sunday afternoon, and the memorial was unveiled in front of "one of the largest gatherings of residents in the history of Matlock[2]". Costing £500, it was designed by Mr. W. N. Statham and erected by Mr. John W. Wildgoose. The President of the War Memorial Committee, who were responsible for raising the funds, was Mr. Lubin G. Wildgoose and the hon. secretary was Mr. W. E. Williams.

The men who died were also remembered on the very moving floral tributes that were sent by relatives, friends, comrades, workmates, Matlock Urban District Council, the Scouts and Guides, the Matlock Rifle Club, Sunday Schools and local people who had known them. The most poignant tributes to read are perhaps those from the small children whose young fathers had died in the conflict.

In World War Two a number of Matlock young men were killed within a very short space of time but there were, thankfully, far less who perished. This time around the casualties were more evenly spread between the three services as more were airmen or naval personnel.

The photograph below shows scouts assembling at Artists' Corner for the Armistice Sunday parade in the late 1940s. Bernard Gale carries the 4th Matlock Troop Flag and adjusting his hat is Geoff Slater, with Neil Ollerenshaw hidden from view by Bernard. The parade marshall, in front, is Harold Briggs, Scoutmaster of 5th Matlock Troop.
[One scout not known, sorry]

Scouts, Armistice Sunday

Matlock St Giles, MIs in the church
where there is a Book of Memory to the men who died in WW2.

There is are lists of names of the fallen, including both some additional names that are inscribed on stone tablets at St. Giles' and names of men who were born in Matlock but have moved away, elsewhere on this site.
Names on Matlock's War Memorial, WW1, A - J
Names on Matlock's War Memorial, WW1, K - W
Matlock's First World War Casualties Not Listed on the Memorial
Names on Matlock's War Memorial, WW2
About St. Giles Church

Matlock's War Memorial, After the Unveiling Ceremony (3 images)
Matlock: Pic Tor and Riber Castle,
with War Memorial, 1935

Matlock, Hall Leys

There is a small Memorial on the Hall Leys, close to Matlock Bridge. It is a solid block of millstone grit, mounted on a square stone base which in turn rests on a circular mill stone. Individual casualties were not named here as the stone is not large. It is, however, more accessible than the main memorial on Pic Tor and was initially dedicated to those who died in both Wars. The poppies on the wrought iron surround replicate the poppies of Flanders Field. It was unveiled on 13 June 1965.

The memorial has been updated to include others involved in the Wars, as the additional plaque facing the river shows (see below). It was unveiled in 30 June 2022.

The original memorial

town centre memorial

  The refurbished and re-dedicated memorial, 2022

town centre memorial

The poppies around the base are now red, symbolic figures have been added to the surround and a second plaque has been added to make it more inclusive.

The additional plaque
This commemorates all of those who served, both overseas and providing necessary support on the home front.

town centre memorial  

There is more information throughout the site about the "shared effort". Here are a few examples:
Water Cures: What happened to the Hydros
Discusses what happened to Rockside, Chatsworth and Smedley's Hydro during WW2.
Matlock: Smedley's Hydro, The Inter-War Years has more on what happened in 1939.
Darley Dale, Whitworth Institute Hospital. Staff & Soldiers June 1915

WW1 VAD nurse in the Vernon Lamb Archive
Elizabeth Walton of Warney Mill was a VAD nurse in WW1

Matlock Bath

This beautiful memorial is situated at the northern end of the Promenade Gardens near the River Derwent and was unveiled slightly earlier than the Matlock memorial, on 21 May 1921, by Mr. F. C. Arkwright on a bright, sunny afternoon[5].

The pedestal was made from of Cornish Granite and the figures were carved in Carrara, Italy, out of the local marble taken from quarries known to the Romans. Lead lettering was used. It cost £700 and the contractor was James Beresford & Sons of Belper.

Although it was designed for Matlock Bath, Charles Beresford[6] (unrelated to the contractor) has told the web mistress that two copies were made - one for Cannock in Staffordshire and one for Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire.

The monument lists the names of those who died in both wars and the money for it was raised from public subscriptions. The original inscription, on the East Side, said: "Erected by voluntary subscription by the inhabitants of Matlock Bath". This was removed to make room for the names of those who died in the Second World War, but its traces can still be seen.

For those who like old postcards, below is another picture of the Great War Memorial, Matlock Bath, surrounded by poppy wreaths to remember the fallen.

Matlock Bath War Memorial

Names on Matlock Bath's War Memorial
There's an enlargement of the inscription, a list of all the names of those who lost their lives and background information about Matlock Bath's Casualties of War.

The men who died are also remembered at Holy Trinity Church.
About Holy Trinity Church

Not everyone who fought in the War died, of course.
Matlock Bath Men Serving King and Country, 1914 lists some of those who enlisted at the beginning

Figures on Matlock Bath's war memorial were carved in Carrara, Italy
Matlock Bath's War Memorial

Unveiling Matlock Bath's War Memorial

}Matlock Bath: Promenade and
}Memorial,1920s and 1930s

Remembrance Day, about 1930
Matlock Bath: North Parade about 1960

Cleaning the memorial
The Parish Council takes good care of Matlock Bath's beautiful monument. It is professionally cleaned every two years, as shown by the photo of the men working on it (above).


Scarthin's War memorial

Scarthin's Memorial is to be found on the Promenade next to the Greyhound Pond and faces the Cromford Mill dam; it bears the names of Casualties from both the First and Second World Wars.The design is an ornamental street lamp on a base of Hopton Stone and was paid for by voluntary subscriptions.

The stone base for the memorial had been fixed in the middle of May, 1920[7] on the part of the promenade that was close to the former Mount Tabor Church; the church closed a long time ago and but building remains - next to Scarthin Books. The memorial was unveiled on Sunday, 5th September 1920 by J. H. Toplis, a former Private in the Army, and former sailors and soldiers were invited to attend the ceremony to remember the nine men from Scarthin who had died[6]. The hamlet was believed to have suffered proportionally more losses than any other in Derbyshire in the First World War as the nine men who died were out of a total of forty-five soldiers[8].

Mr. F. C. Arkwright presided at the unveiling ceremony, a prayer was offered by Mr. E. S. Rowarth and Mr. T. H. Ward read the lesson. It was after this that Private Toplis unveiled the inscription. A large number of wreaths were placed on the Memorial by relatives, plus two from Scarthin's residents and children[8]. In his address Mr. Arkwright expressed sympathy with all the parents, adding that Mrs. Allen had lost two sons. One of them had acted as a scout orderly to the Willersley hospital before he joined up.

It is difficult to photograph this memorial without it being surrounded by cars!

Names on Scarthin's War Memorial.
There's an enlargement of the inscription from WW2, a list of all the names of those who lost their lives and background information about Scarthin's Casualties of War.

Peace Day 1919, with images of Scarthin's programme for the day's celebrations

Scarthin War Memorial, unveiling programme.



Although the young men of Starkholmes and Riber who died in the First World War are commemorated on Matlock's memorial at Pic Tor, it was decided they should have their own memorial. This was designed by Mr. J. Simpson of Matlock. The contract was awarded to Mr. John William Wildgoose and made by Mr. Boden in Stancliffe stone. The base was quarried at Lumshill. It faces almost due east and due west[10]. It is on land near the school (no longer there) that was given by Mr. Arkwright and cost £180, which was raised by voluntary contribution. The dedication ceremony took place on 23rd November 1919[6]. Canon J. W. Kewley, Rector of Matlock, conducted the dedication service. He was assisted by the Reverends John Bradbury, J. W. Chippett and H. Pattison, who also gave short addresses. Mr Arkwright, who was proud that his own son's name was on the memorial, said that these young men had sacrificed everything that was dear to them - even life itself[9].

Names on Starkholmes War Memorial.
There's an enlargement of the inscription, a list of all the names of those who lost their lives and background information about the Casualties of War. There's also a photograph of the other side of the Memorial.

Starkholmes ARP Wardens, about 1940
Air Raid Precaution Wardens played a vital part in Britain's defence during the Second World War.

The memorial takes the form of a carved Runic cross. The circle in the centre of the cross bears the words:
Another inscription reads: Might Assails, 1914; Right Prevails, 1918". A third says: "Erected by the inhabitants of the villages of Starkholmes and Riber in honour of the soldiers who gave their lives for right and liberty in the great war of 1914-1918"[10].

At the unveiling several white wreaths were placed around the monument, including ones in memory of Thomas Fearn, Harold Pursglove, W. R. Knowles and Charles J. Knowles. One of the wreaths was sent from the Convalescent Home at Chindras House. The committee who had brought it about was chaired by Mr. Geo. P. Savage, Ernest Statham was the hon. sec. and treasurer was George Evans. The committee members were Messrs. E. Pursgove and Chas. Pursglove, F. Growcott, A Robinson, George Blaymere, Geo. Hubbard, W. Hood, Chas. Fern, W. Statham, W. Brown, P. Jepson and H. Jones.[9]

The memorial at Starkholmes is high on the hillside overlooking Matlock Bath. This photograph shows it set against the background of Masson hillside. The cable car going up to the Heights of Abraham and part of Matlock Bath on the other side of the valley can be seen.

Photographs by Terry Moore: Matlock Memorial, Pic Tor | Matlock Bath Memorial
Photograph by Paul Kettle: Matlock Memorial, Hall Leys
Photograph from Bernard Gale Collection: Scouts in Matlock Dale
Postcard "Great War Memorial, Matlock Bath". The Doncaster Rotophoto Co. Ltd, No.11. 84-32. Copyright-Toned Glossy Real Photograph. Not posted. Ann Andrews collection. Replaces an earlier version.
Photograph by Ken Smith: Cleaning Matlock Bath's Memorial
Photographs by Charles Beresford, 2006: Scarthin War Memorial | Starkholmes War Memorial
All images intended for personal use only and © the individual contributors.
Written and researched by and © Ann Andrews


[1] Inscription on Matlock War Memorial, Pic Tor.

[2] "The High Peak News", 13 August, 1921, with thanks to County Hall LSL for providing the photocopy.

[3] "Nottingham Journal", 15 June 1920. Matlock Memorial Hitch.

[4] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 14 September 1920.

[5] "The High Peak News", 7 May, 1921.

[6] Information from Charles Beresford, who has been interested in Matlock Bath's memorial for many years and has written a book, "The Bath at War".

[7] "Derbyshire Courier", 15 May 1920.

[8] "ibid", 11 September, 1920.

[9] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 28 November 1919. Starkholmes War Memorial. Unveiled by Mr. F. C. Arkwright.

[10] "Derbyshire Courier", 29 November, 1919.