A Brief History
Located at ” 1 Manor Street, Ruskington, Lincolnshire, NG34 9DXA“, the Church of All Saints, Ruskington is a Grade 1 English Heritage Listed Building (ID: 437647).
According to a mounted scroll inside the Church:
“Records show that a small Saxon Church, probably constructed of timber, was built in 1086. at the end of the 12th Century a more substantial Norman structure was replaced by yet another on the present site.
The small lancet windows low down on the North and South Walls of the Chancel still remain.
Features of the 12th Century building are the South doorway and an exceptionally fine pillar in the Arcade of the Nave. The broad circular base and dog tooth ornamentation can be seen from the Children’s Chapel.
During the 13th Century the North Arcade was rebuilt with plainer pillars. Nevertheless, the bases, which were probably the only seats at the time, were left and remain to the present day.
In the South Aisle the East Window was built during the 14th Century and the other two a hundred years later. The exterior window sills appear to be mediaeval tomb slabs.
After the Spire collapsed the Tower was rebuilt in 1620. Some of the stone was probably used in constructing the Porch on the East side of which a gargoyle still looks surprised at finding itself in such a strange position. The Children’s Chapel was built in 1949.”
[The Children’s Chapel is dedicated to the memory of the men of the village who gave their lives in World War 2 – see below.]
The World War 1 Memorial in the Church is in the form of a Brass Plaque mounted on a marble back plate. The Memorial was unveiled and dedicated by The Right Revd J. E. Hane, Bishop of Grantham. on 4 August 1921.
It is located on the North wall and flanked by the Royal British Legion Standard and the Union Flag.
The Plaque bears the names of all 30 Ruskington men who died in the Great War, and commemorated on this site.
Above the names is the inscription:
“TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN HONOURED MEMORY OF THE FOLLOWING WHO DIED FOR KING AND COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR”
Below the names the Memorial reads:
“GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS THAT A MAN LAYS DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS”
“The Sleaford Gazette” of 19 January 1918 printed a short piece about a Roll of Honour displayed in the Church, as follows:
“ROLL OF HONOUR. A list of the names of all the men who have gone forth from the parish to serve their King and Country has now been made out on emblematical lithographed sheets, and suitably framed in oak and gilt. The Roll is in two parts, one frame hanging off the north wall, and the other on the south of the church, the latter containing spaces for additional names. Although at a later period the heroes from Ruskington will doubtless be honoured in a more permanent manner, the present roll reflects the greatest credit upon its donors. – The Rev. H. and Mrs. Mellor.”
Currently, however, this Roll has not been located.
The World War 2 Memorial is on the opposite wall, in the ‘Children’s Chapel’, in the form of a framed metal plaque on a stone backing. incised with the names of the 11 village men who gave their lives.
It was made by Messrs F. Hossack and Son of Ruskington.
The dedication at the top of the Memorial reads:
“This children’s chapel is dedicated to the memory of the men of this parish who died in seeking to overcome the powers of evil which threatened their Country in the years 1939 – 1945”
The inscription below the names read:
“Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The War Memorials Trust records that at a meeting of Parochial Church Council on 21 April 1948 it was resolved:
- “To execute and carry out the following works;
- To remove 4 seats in the South Aisle and shorten 2 in the Nave.
- To re-floor this area to form a Children’s Chapel.
- To provide and place in the said chapel panelling on the east and south wall:
- An Oak Altar; decorated wooden cross; two candlestick, prayer desk and seatfront.
- To provide and place on the south wall of the said children’s chapel a tablet of bronze about 10” by about 17” in size…” ….. there then followed the list of names to be included on the framed metal plaque.
Details of these men of the village can be accessed through the “World War 2 – Casualties” page on this site. The finished Chapel is shown in the photo above (Mike Peck, 30 October 2007).
The 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron Memorial:
Situated alongside the World War 2 Memorial, in the Children’s Chapel, is a Marble Memorial Plaque to the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron.
They were a Reconnaissance Corps unit which formed part of the 1st Airborne Division and was sent to North Africa, before seeing service in Italy and Arnhem.
When the Squadron returned from Italy in New Year 1944 it was moved and billeted in the village and retrained from a Glider squadron to a Parachute one.
After training the 45 members of the Squadron joined ‘Operation Market Garden‘ – the attack on the Rhine Bridges at Arnhem, from which 30 men returned to the village on 28 September 1944.
The villagers were said to be devastated by the loss of so many men. After VE Day, the Squadron saw service in Norway, at Stavanger and Oslo, where it oversaw the withdrawal of German troops.
The names of the men shown on the Memorial are shown on the left. At the foot of the Plaque is the citation:
“From this place, where it had found a home during its last months in England, the Squadron flew to the Battle of Arnhem.“
In addition to the War Memorials in the Parish Church, Ruskington has four other Memorial sites and each has its own page in this site.
C L I C K on the name below to go to the relevant page: