As another season of remembrance comes around, students of history will be visiting the rich heritage that St James’ church, Taxal, holds. The graveyard is full of memories, some with specific stories of the local servicemen who died in two world wars and rest in plots tended by the War Graves Commission.
Inside the church is a memorial, created only in the 1920s, but which could claim to be the oldest war memorial in the area. It is in the chancel of St James’, a slab of slate about two metres long laid into the floor just before the altar, recording names of the family today known as Jodrell.
The very first name carved in the stone is William Jauderell, known as ‘The Archer’, who died in 1375. He is remembered more than 700 years on.
Next is Roger Jaudrell – note how the generations have subtly changed the spelling of the family name. He fought at Agincourt in 1415 and died in 1423.
George Joydrell – another spelling change – died in 1463; Roger Joudrel in 1500. And so the generations are recorded on the memorial, up to 1756.
The memorial was installed in St James’ in 1925, when Dorothy Ramsden-Jodrell, wife of Lt-Col Henry Ramsden-Jodrell, presented new choir stalls to the church.
It was Col Ramsden-Jodrell, lord of the manor of Taxal, who was benefactor to the 161st Manchester Scouts now known as ‘Jodrell’s Own’, who visit St James’ every year on their annual camp. The colonel’s grandson Michael, now living in Dorset, still keeps in touch with the 161st, and hopes to visit them for their centenary next year.