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Updated 22 August 2015
HOME > History > Oldbury, Langley & Warley War Memorials and the Fallen > Langley Parish memorials


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Memorials in Langley Parish

There was much discussion about the form a memorial should take for Langley Parish with suggestions ranging from a lych-gate at the entrance to St Michael's Church to a memorial hall. In the end the Parochial Church Council decided to install a stained-glass window in St Michael and All Angels, Langley Green. The amount raised was more than the sum required for the window, so a second memorial was erected in the graveyard of Trinity Church, Langley, the chapel of ease to St Michael's.


The Memorial Window

The memorial window was designed by Thomas Stokes, who lived in Langley, and had been art master at Oldbury Secondary School. It was made by the Smethwick firm of Samuel Evans and Company.

The window comprises three equal lights, arched in shape at the top. The centre light shows St George holding the sword of truth. The left light shows 'faith' (fides) carrying the shield of faith and a staff. The right light shows 'hope' (spes) carrying an anchor and a scroll of the gospel. It contains four symbolic scrolls bearing the names of sixty-four men of Langley Parish who died in WW1.

Across the top of the three lights is the inscription: "It is given to all men tio die, but to the few to die for their country", and across the bottom: "To the Glory of God and in grateful memory of the men of Langley who died in the Great War 1914-1918".The whole window is richly-coloured.

A public appeal was made for names of men who qualified to be submitted to the Vicar, Revd Walter Wale, who checked that they were eligible. Several families have reported that they had to pay to have the soldier's name added to the window, although no official statement to this effect has been traced. When the window was dedicated, it contained only sixty-one names, and three were added later when families could afford the fee.

The window was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Birmingham on 3rd April 1921.

The colour picture below was taken in 2005 and contains the full complement of names. The sepia picture has spaces at the bottom of three scrolls and only the original sixty-one names, so it must have been taken soon after the window was installed, probably following the dedication service.


St Michal window 2005


St Michael window old picture

© unknown, out of copyright



Stories of men on window




Memorial Cross

The memorial cross was erected on a slight elevation within Trinity Church churchyard, and was dedicated by the Archdeacon of Birmingham in November 1924. It has the form of a celtic cross in rough grey granite, on a plinth. It does not have the names of individual sailors and soldiers, but carries the general inscription "The Glorious Dead - Their name liveth for evermore" on the base. The cross became a focus for acts of remembrance in Langley.

Until August 2015, we did not know of any photograph of the memorial cross at Trinity Church, but a hitherto unpublished picture has come to light. This was taken in November 1964 by John Cleare, who has kindly allowed it to be included on this website. The picture was taken from Titford Road looking across the churchyard towards the towers of Albright & Wilson's phosphorus works. The church is off the right hand edge of the photograph.


cross at trinity church

© John Cleare



Cecil Lloyd Window

A second window was installed at St Michael and All Angels to compliment the Langley Memorial Window, although this was not a parish memorial, but a gift to the church to by the parents of Cecil Percy William Lloyd. Cecil Lloyd, an only child, had been a choir boy at the church.

This window is similar in its intense colouring to the main window, and shows the figures of St Gabriel (the messenger), St Michael, and St Raphael(the healer) in its three lights. It has the inscription: "To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Cecil; Percy William Lloyd (K R R), formerly a Choir Boy of this Church, who died in action in the battle of the Somme, July 24th 1916. This window is given by his parents."

Cecil Lloyd, who was in the King's Royal Rifles, is also named on the main window.


lloyd window



Preserving the Langley Memorials

Trinity Church , Langley was closed on 13th November 1960 by the Vicar, Revd Richard 'Dick' Simpson. The Remembrance Day service was held in the morning, the Sunday School prizegiving in the afternoon, and the locks were changed to stop the holding of the evening service. The demolition of the building was delayed by protests from the congregation, but in 1968 it was taken down. The Memorial Cross was removed to St Michael and All Angels, Langley Green, and it was placed to the left of the front entrance.

St Michael's itself closed for worship on 1st July 2007 Birmingham Diocese sought a purchaser for the building and site. This not achieved until 2014, when the site was purchased by a Philippines-based church, Iglesia ni Cristo. This churh does not allow any human image within its worship spaces, so all the stained-glass windows were to be removed from the building, including the Langley Memorial window and the Cecil Lloyd window.

Langley Local History Society was concerned that both windows and the Memorial Cross may be destroyed in subsequent building work. The society sought assurances from the diocese that they would be protected and would be transferred to the society if alternative homes could be found in Langley, and the diocese agreed. The two churches in Langley and Langley Green readily offered to take the memorials, the Cross going to Ebenezer Wesleyan Reform Church in Langley High Street, and the windows to Zion United Reformed Church, Langley Green.

Langley Local History Society started a public appeal to raise money to have the two memorials moved, restored and installed in their new locations. The Memorial Cross was the simpler part of the project. This was removed by the stone masons W H Tinsley of Rood End, cleaned and re-lettered and placed in the lawned area in fron the Ebenezer Church facing into High Street, Langley, where it makes a striking focal point. A service of rededication was held on 8th November 2014, and a further service on Remembrance Day the following Tuesday.


memorial cross st michaels cross at ebenezer
The Memorial Cross at St Michael and All Angels' Church, Langley Green, in 2005, (left), and re-sited at the Ebenezer Wesleyan Reform Church, High Street, Langley, in November 2014

The memorial windows were removed from St Michael's as substantially intact panels. The Cecil Lloyd window was passed to relatives of Cecil Lloyd and will be restored and remain with the family.

It was not the intention to install the Langley Memorial window in the fabris of Zion United Reformed Church. Instead, it was to be restored and framed for wall mounting with back lighting as illumination. Langley Local History Society decided to use a specialist firm to carry out the restoration and framing, IWF Ltd, of Wooler, a company employed by leading museums to preseve and mount their stained glass. Funding for this part of the overall project was secured through a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The window was installed in Zion Church in April 2015. An exhibition on the soldiers named on the window and the memorial itself was held on Saturday 25th April with a Dedication Service in the afternoon. The windows, mounted on the wall of the worship area are shown below:

window at Zion URC

All colour photographs © Dr Terry Daniels, others as stated.


Albright & Wilson Memorial
Albright and Wilson, now owned by the international chemical company Solvay, dedicated a brass plaque after WW2 which commemorated their employees who lost their life in both wars. Twelve men are listed for WW1. The plaque was originally in the hall of the recreation club, but is now in the archive of the factory. It is not known whether a separate memorial was created after WW1.
a&w memorial


Showell's Brewery Memorial
Showell's Brewery lost three of its employees in the Great War, and placed a simple tablet memorial at the entrance to their offices in Crosswells Roadm Langley Green. No further details are known.



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