all saints' church, basingstoke

This tiny chapel (immediately under the tower and organ) reminds us that All Saints' was built during the dark days of World War One. Most of the church is light and airy; this chapel can seem as if it is still in the shadow of those dark times. Originally called the “Warrior Chapel” now usually called the “Memorial Chapel” the proper name might be “The Chapel of St Martin and St Alban.”  


The two stained glass windows in the chapel represent the “warrior saints” - St Alban and St Martin. St Alban was the first person known to have died for his faith in England.


The reredos was designed by Mr Leslie Moore, the son-in-law of Temple Moore and was painted by Charles Head. On each side are listed the men associated with All Saints', who gave their lives in the First World War 1914-1918. A Remembrance Sermon from 2001, (see this page), has details on some of the men and thoughts on remembrance.

from material compiled by Rev Elizabeth George and John Pearce:

By September 1919 plans for a simple altar and reredos wall tablet and other furnishings of the “War Chapel of St. Michael and St. George” had been drawn up and estimates requested.

“The appearance of the Chapel will be wonderfully improved by another gift of our founder, the Rev. A. T. Hall. Mr. Hall in association with his brother and sister-in-law has offered to fill the window of the Chapel with stained glass in memory of their nephew Capt. P. S. B. Hall and of the Rev. F.W. Cleveland TCP, a friend of the Founder and also in memory of all those connected with All Saints who have fallen in the war. This offer has been most gratefully accepted and we feel that the window with its soldier saints Martin and Alban will most suitably and beautifully finish what should be a Memorial worthy of the church.”

A vestry meeting was held on 24th July 1920 and a faculty applied for to carry out the plans for the War Memorial as designed by Mr. Temple Moore. The sum of £240 needed turned out to be more than originally estimated. £63 had already been raised. By October the plans were with the builders. Rev. A. T. Hall gave £50 and other donations brought the fund up to £119. By November the altar and altar rails of the memorial chapel were in place and the fund stood at £127-5-Od (£127-25p).

By July 1921 the reredos for the War Memorial Chapel was at last in place. The altar was awaiting a frontal and candlesticks. Otherwise, all that was needed was a carpet and credence table. Mr. Charles Head of Colchester who was also responsible for the high altar reredos and the rood painted the decoration of the reredos with its central panel of the crucified Lord. £130-18-8d (£130-93p) had so far been raised - more was needed.

At last, the Rev. H S Footman who was Rural Dean and Vicar of Silchester dedicated the War Memorial Chapel of St. Alban and St. Martin on 5th December 1921. A total of £138-9-ld (£138-45) had been subscribed towards it and gifts of a sanctuary lamp; carpet and fair linen cloth had been made. The rest of the cost was met by Rev. A. T. Hall who felt those interested had contributed what they desired to give and he did not wish them to be pressed in the matter. The organ fund still needed £13 and a Christmas concert was held which raised £7-5-Od (£7-25p) and a scheme was being put in hand to raise the balance.

At a PCC meeting in April 1939, Mr. R. Burnaby moved a resolution to apply for a faculty to remove the altar rails in the Memorial Chapel on the’grounds that these rails are of a different type of wood and design to the neighbouring woodwork and occupy an undue amount of space in the Chapel. The Vicar said the proposal had been sent to the DAC but no reply had been received. The resolution was passed subject to a favourable reply. No more was reported on this proposal.