We are fortunate in Eton Wick because most of the minutes of the Memorial Committee meetings have survived the passing years. It is apparent from these that the governing criterion was the actual place of residence at the time of service.
The cost of the memorial was met entirely by donations from within the community. It cost just under £200, which in relative terms today would probably be around £15,000. The village population in 1919 was very much smaller than it is today.
The abbreviated minutes of the Memorial Committee meetings report:
Committee Meeting held January 1919
Two months after the Great War Armistice, in January 1919, a public meeting was held at the Eton Wick and Boveney Institute to consider a form of memorial to those who had sacrificed their lives. Vicar L.H. Evans of Eton occupied the chair. Those present: Rev. J.M. McAnally, Mr E.L. Vaughan, Mr H. Bunce, (Chairman of Eton Wick Parish Council) together with council members; Mr W. Howell (Chairman of Boveney Parish Council) with council members, together with many ladies, and men still wearing khaki uniforms. The Vicar, after paying tribute to victory and thanksgiving to God, proceeded to read minutes of a joint meeting between both councils held on January 18th.
Suggestions for a memorial included: a clock in the church spire; a stained-glass window with a tablet inside bearing the names of the fallen beneath the window; a lych gate; a wall around the churchyard; a monument outside the church and a tablet inside. The meeting decided unanimously to recommend the stained-glass window and tablet. Mr Hammerton thought it should not be confined to the church and proposed a marble slab be erected in the Institute grounds; seconded in a soldier. Mr Vaughan proposed an amendment referring the matter to a committee; Mr H. Burfoot seconded. Mr H. Bunce further amended that the stained-glass decision be carried forward.
Mr Percy amended that the memorial be erected outside the church and in the churchyard, where all could see it; Mr Nason seconded. The last amendment was carried 33 votes for, with eight against. Proposed Mr Ayres, seconded Mr Howell, that a committee of nine be elected.
Those elected were Rev. McNally, Messrs: E. Ashman, H. Bunce, W Howell, E.L. Vaughan, H. Burfoot, G. Barrett, W Moss and C. Tough.
This is an extract from Their Names Shall Be Carved in Stone
and published here with grateful thanks to the author Frank Bond.