Imperial War Museum Reference 57551 (information out of date at time of writing).
This memorial plaque is from the Macclesfield Mill Street Mission, whose premises stood behind the buildings in Mill Street south of its junction with Pickford Street.
John Earles, in his book Streets and Houses of Old Macclesfield (pub. 1915), writes:
Some distance up Mill Street was situated the Meeting House of the Society of Friends, or, as it was called, “The Old Quaker’s Chapel,” which is now occupied by the City Mission. On the front of the ancient place of worship there is a stone bearing the date 1705… In the small burial ground which still exists and is adjacent to the chapel are several old graves…”
An excerpt from the 1871 O.S. map of Macclesfield (published on CD by the Family History Society of Cheshire, in association with Macclesfield Silk Museums Trust), shows the location of the Friends Meeting House and burial ground. Later maps mark the building as a “Chapel.”
The “City Mission” was a branch of the Manchester City Mission, which was founded in 1837 and still operates in Manchester. In the 1901 and 1911 censuses for Macclesfield, Nathan Birkbeck Storey and his wife Harriet Jane gave their occupations as “Missionary” and “Deaconess” for the Manchester City Mission; Sarah Ann Wiggin, who is named on the memorial, was their domestic servant in 1911.
This photo from 1951 shows the gated entrance to the premises, then marked “Town Mission.” The entrance still exists, to the right of the bus station at the junction of Mill Lane and Pickford Street.
The memorial is a brass and black plaque with brass lettering and is unusual, as it includes the only woman named on a Great War memorial in Macclesfield, Nurse Sarah Wiggin (unfortunately the name is mis-spelt on the memorial and includes a superfluous ‘s’ at the end). The memorial was unveiled on 25 July 1919.
At some time after the Mission closed, the memorial was stored at the Macclesfield Silk Museums Trust for safe-keeping. Since 10 November 2018, the memorial has been on display at the Silk Museum, Park Lane, Macclesfield.
MILL STREET MISSION
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN LOVING REMEMBRANCE OF
WHO IN THE TIME OF NEED CAME FORWARD
IN THE SERVICE OF MANKIND
AND FOR THE DEFENCE OF THE LIBERTIES OF
EUROPE IN THE GREAT WAR
1914 – 1918
“GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS
THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE
FOR HIS FRIENDS” ST JOHN XV.13
Those named on the Mill Street Mission memorial who have been researched are listed below: