Outside the Church is the War Memorial dedicated to all the men of the Parish who died in World War 1. It was erected, we think, sometime around 1920 or 1921 (see below). The Memorial was moved from its original position when the roundabout was built at the top of Porthill Bank in 1953.porthill

The Church and War Memorial sometime before 1928 1
The idea for a Memorial was thought of before the Great War had even finished. There was an article in The Weekly Sentinel in July 1918 about the Church’s plans for a memorial. 2
St. Andrew’s, Porthill
Proposed War Memorial
At the time of the Solemn Memorial Requiem for the men from Porthill who have fallen in battle or by sickness in the war held at St. Andrew’s Church last November, the question of a permanent memorial was raised by may of the relatives on the men commemorated.
Since then the matter has been considered in detail, and the congregation of St. Andrew’s Church have felt that in view of the fact that the church occupies what is distinctly the most central and attractive site in the district, it was up to them to take the lead in promoting a scheme. So the subject has been well debated at recent meetings of the congregation, and a scheme has been drawn up. Eventually, in any case, some form of memorial would have been placed in the two churches of the parish of St. Andrew’s, Porthill, and this will still be done, but this part of the scheme will be left until after the war. But it is felt that some form of open-air-memorial is needed that will be seen by all the people of the district, and will be a constant reminder to them of the glorious heroism and self-sacrifice of the men who have gone from their midst.
It has been decided, therefore, to make this the principle part of the scheme, and it will take the form of a very large wayside cross on a massive stone base, to be erected on the land in front of the church, facing down Porthill. A site will be cleared for the purpose and around the cross slabs of stone will be placed in a large semi-circle, upon which will be inscribed the names of all the men from Porthill parish who fall in this war, without respect to class or creed. The advice of the Wayside Cross Society has been sought, and a member of the Council, Mr. F. C. Eden, a well-know church architect, has drawn up the plans of the memorial which are to be seen in the porch of St. Andrew’s Church.
A general appeal will be made towards the end of August, in order that the part of the scheme may be carried out as soon as possible as there is a strong desire on the part of many of the relatives of the men concerned that, in view of the length of the war, something at least should be done now, so that they may feel that their loved ones are not forgotten.
There was another article in the Staffordshire Sentinel on 30th January 1922, whilst not very complimentary about the Memorial, does give another suggestion that the Memorial was erected in 1921.
Calvary as War Memorial
 (To the Editor of the “Staffordshire Sentinel”)
Sir, – In view of Chancellor Talbot’s decision – which I enclose – it would be interesting to know if he granted a faculty for the erection of the unsightly thing at Porthill Church. If not, evidently the proper thing to be done is to take steps to have it removed – a course which has been successfully taken in other places – Guildford for example.
Yours faithfully
P.S. I enclose my card.
The correspondent encloses the following cutting from “The Churchman Magazine”:
Calvary Crucifix Officially Condemned
Chancellor Talbot K.C., held a Consistory Court at Lichfield on January 10th, and declined to grant an application by the Vicar and Churchwardens of All Saints, Streetly, near Wallsall, for a faculty confirming the erection of a Calvary as a War Memorial. The principle grounds of the refusal were that the Memorial took the form of a figure generally regarded in this country as specifically distinctive of the Roman Church, and that, in its present position, it was offensive to good taste and propriety, and was calculated to cause distress and shock in the minds of residents and passers-by. The same Chancellor, with great inconsistency has allowed an idolatrous erection at Wolverhampton.
As some background, the Churchman’s Magazine was (and is) produced by one of the most Conservative Evangelical wings of the Church, which generally dislikes anything that hints of being of a Catholic nature. So it’s not surprising this particular correspondent didn’t like the Calvary – this particular tradition would only have empty crosses in church!

Memorial 1 (Medium) Memorial 2
The Memorial in its original position on a cold 1950’s day 3
Old postcard taken sometime before 1953 with the Memorial in its original position
100_1908 (Medium)
The memorial before the 2018 restoration
By each side of the Memorial are tablets commemoration all the men of the Parish killed in WW1. The Scouts are on two separate tablets.

  1. Church & Memorial photo courtesy of the Churches of Britain and Ireland website & Kevin Gordon
  2. Sentinel article courtesy of Geoff Mayer
  3. 1950’s Church & Memorial photos taken by W. T. Vickers