Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Old Bill: From Craven Arms to St John the Baptist, Stokesay

This is Old Bill, who was set up in the odd little Shropshire town of Craven Arms to be its war memorial. You can see him standing beside the main road in this old photograph.

At some point, because of a road-widening scheme, he was moved to a very different setting. Old Bill is now on parade in the churchyard of St John the Baptist, Stokesay. This church, which stands next to Stokesay Castle, was partly destroyed in a Civil War skirmish and rebuilt later in the 17th century.

The lump you can see behind Old Bill in the photograph below turns out, very unexpectedly, to be a dolphin.


Gawain said...

Why a dolphin?

Jonathan Calder said...

The War Memorial Trust page for this monument says:

"There are two symbolic suggestions for the inclusion of the dolphin; firstly that The Kings Shropshire Light Infantry raised in 1755 as the 53rd Regiment of Foot undertook maritime duties in the 7 years war from their Gibraltar base, secondly the tradition in Greek mythology of dolphins carrying heros after death."