Collections - Archives
"Golden Roll of Honour"
Sometime after the end of the First World War relatives of fallen
soldiers received a letter and a 'Golden Roll of Honour' sent to them as
a private fund-raising initiative of Captain Malcolm Cockerell who had
served with the Army Service Corps in 1918 and on the Western Front from
8th September 1918. Cockerell was commissioned as a Temporary 2nd
Lieutenant on 29th April 1918 into the Army Service Corps, and he
appears to have continued to serve into the early 1920s, and was serving
in February 1921 with a home address of Deauville Court, Clapham,
The letter sent to the relatives of the fallen, presumably the names and
addresses were those he obtained from the Grave Registers produced by
the Imperial War Graves Commission said the following:
"Dear Sir or Madam,
The sender of this letter and GOLDEN ROLL of HONOUR is an ex-British
Soldier who, owing to the World-wide trade depression is out of
employment and who cannot be re-employed here owing to the increasing
number of un-employed of French nationality.
It is useless for me to return to England at the present time with my
wife and family as there is so little employment for those at home.
I am therefore forced to find some means of earning my living; for there
is no unemployment pay for Britishers over here, and so I have designed
the enclosed Golden Roll of Honour at the foot of which you will see The
Thiepval Memorial which is just completed. On this memorial is
inscribed the name of One dear to you who laid down his life in the
Great War. The official notice of his sacrifice you will also see
on the Roll of Honour.
The price of this Roll of Honour is only TWO SHILLINGS and SIXPENCE
which I feel even the very poor will be glad to pay, to give it an
honoured place in the Home and I trust that you will be able to buy this
in spite of the difficulties that beset everyone at home at this moment.
If this meets with your approval will you kindly send me an ORDINARY
POSTAL ORDER as soon as possible.
I can supply real photographs of the finished memorial at the following
6 1/2 inches by 3 inches .... One shilling and sixpence each
16 inches by 12 inches ..... Six shillings each.
Extra copies of this Roll of Honour CANNOT be supplied.
I can place wreaths at Easter, Birthdays, Armistice Day or Christmas Day
at the following rates. - Palm Wreath 8/6 - Laurel Wreath 5/- Holly
Wreath for Xmas 7/6 - Bouquets of flowers 2/6.
I have no connection with any others who may have written you at any
time. This is the first communication I have sent to you.
Thanking you in anticipation of your kind orders,
Please return this slip when remitting.
To M. Cockerell, Rue Pasteur, Albert (Somme), France.
I have decided to keep the Roll of Honour and I send you herewith postal
order in payment of same.
Signed (Mr, Mrs or Miss) etc."
The printed scroll, the one referred to in the letter included a
photograph of the newly dedicated Thiepval Memorial, (dating it to 1932
or after), although other scrolls featured different memorials.
The reference to "the official notice of his sacrifice
you will also see" is the details of the soldier commemorated on the
memorial from the registers produced by the Imperial War Graves
Commission. Clearly Captain Cockerell had purchased only a limited
number of these, hence "extra copies of this Roll of Honour CANNOT be
From the 'Golden Rolls of Honour' in the museum's collection it is clear
that Captain Cockerell covered the following memorials & Cemeteries:
Each of these memorials is featured in the central photograph at the
bottom, all of the scrolls include images of the South African Memorial;
Ulster Memorial; Australian Memorial and Highland Memorial.
The wording: "For King and Country to the Glory of God and
Everlasting Memory of" appears on each certificate which is the followed
by a pasted on cutting from the Imperial War Graves Commission Register
detailing the soldier:
There are a number of examples of the Golden Roll of Honour in the
Museum's Collection and include
Memorial certificate sent to the relatives of Private Bryan Cumpsty
(incorrectly spelt Cumpstey in some records),
number 27456, 1st Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
Killed in action, 28th June 1917, age 23. Son of Sarah Ann Cumpsty and the late Bryan Cumpsty of 1
Hala Road, Scotforth, Lancaster. Also shown as 'Cumpstey'.
Commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France.
Accession Number: KO2391/15
Private Percy Edwards, number 17167, 1st Battalion, King's
Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Died 3rd July 1916 age 23 and
commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. Son of Charles and Louisa
Edwards of 106 Godolphin Road, Shepherd's Bush, London.
Sergeant Alfred Fishwick, number 241008, 2nd/5th Battalion,
King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Killed in action 26th October
1917, age 20. Son of William Henry and Mary Fishwick of 4 The
Crescent, Galgate, Lancaster. Commemorated on the Tyne Cot
Captain John Prior Jamieson, 3rd Battalion attached to 1st
Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Died of wounds
13th October 1917. Son of Eleanor Jamieson of Ellerside,
Blundellsands, Liverpool. Buried in Dozinghem
Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Accession Number: KO1831/06
Golden Roll of Honour for Private John Robert
Preston, number 241853, 8th Battalion, King’s Own Royal
Lancaster Regiment, Died of wounds 13 Apr 1918, age 25 and Buried in
Pernes Military Cemetery, France. Son of John and Alice Ann Preston of
Private John Robert Preston enlisted into the 2nd/5th Battalion of the
King’s Own with the number 4456 and became 241853 in 1917. He is shown
as with D Company of the 2nd/5th Battalion in Jan 1917.
Accession Number: KO3114/01
Private Albert Smith, number
1700, 1st Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. A
pre-war Reservist of the 3rd Battalion, Albert was mobilised on the
outbreak of the First World War and joined the 1st Battalion on the
Western Front on 1st November 1914. He was killed in action on
24th May 1915 at the age of 26 years. The son of Mrs Ruth Smith,
of 26 Whalley Old Road, Blackburn, he is commemorated on the Menin Gate
Accession Number: KO1992/03
Private Arthur Stewart, number 6099, 2nd Battalion, King's
Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Killed in action on 8th May 1915,
age 31. Husband of Mary Stewart of 7 Ulverston Road, Swarthmoor,
Ulverston. Commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.
Private John Thomas Pye, number 241333, 2nd/5th Battalion,
King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Died 29th August 1918, age
21. Son of William and Elizabeth Pye, 22 Windermere Road,
Freehold, Lancaster. Commemorated on the Vis-En-Artois Memorial,
Private Harold Elton Thompson, number 235275, 1st Battalion,
King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Killed in action 12th October
1917, age 23. Son of Mr T W and Mrs E Thompson of 2 Hadley
Terrace, East Barnet, Hertfordshire. Commemorated on the Tyne Cot
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