A short introduction to Charterhouse’s Memorial Chapel

After a brilliant service on Remembrance Sunday, we now direct our attention to the Chapel itself- an amazing war memorial, commemorating the lives of the old Carthusians who have given their lives in service for the UK. This is a short introduction to the chapel.file4

In August 1917, the number of OCs who had died fighting in the first world war had become greater than the number of boys at Charterhouse at the time. This led to the current headmaster then, Frank Fletcher, starting fundraising to construct a memorial for those who had died in battle (those who died of wounds later are not included). The actual funding for the chapel was received from parents, staff and OCs. The chapel was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. The consecration took place on the 18th June 1927.

Inside Charterhouse’s own library there is a model of the chapel. It is constructed from 470 pieces of wood and took 600 hours to complete. It also conceals a secret: inside there are three drawers, designed to hold eighty pieces of cutlery; the roof and side wall hinge open to provide extra storage space.

The people listed in the chapel are not shown by the year of their death, but by the year when they left Charterhouse. For the First World War there are 692 names listed, and for the Second World War there are 340. Alongside this therefile3 are more recent names, as well as staff members who died too.

The school chapel is one of the school’s biggest assets and what we have said here is only a short introduction to the Charterhouse war memorial, the largest in the country, and for more  information about our chapel, there is a section on Greyhound addressing this.

Many thanks to the school archivist for help with this article.

 Written by George Lake Coghlan and Yusuf Furniss