The First World War Memorial to the men of the parish of Moulsham who lost their lives in that conflict was unveiled at St. John's Church in Moulsham Street on Sunday 7th November 1920.
The memorial, designed by Mr. Wykeham Chancellor, took the form a handsome cross erected midway between the entrance gates of St. John's Church and the main church door. The cross was of Portland some, standing on an hexagonal plinth, on four sides of which were inscribed the names of the fallen. Over them were the words: "In memory of the men of Moulsham who fell the Great War, 1914-1919." The cost of the memorial, raised by voluntary subscription, amounted to over £200.
The memorial was the first of a public nature to be erected within the Borough of Chelmsford and so the unveiling ceremony was attended by a very large number of people. There was also a crowded congregation in the church, where an impressive service was conducted by the Vicar, the Rev. R. F. Burnett, who wore his uniform as hon. chaplain to the Forces. The singing was led by some members of Crompton's Silver Band, under Mr. A. Higby. Mr. H. A. Parker (the organist) accompanied the band on the harmonium.
The service was attended by the Mayor (Cr. J. G. Dixon, J.P.) and members of the Corporation in state. The civic body was met at the church door by the Vicar and choir, the procession being headed by the cross bearer, Corpl. L. Symonds (K.R.R.C. Cadets and the processional banner carried by Pte. Gooch (also of the Cadets). Special seating provision was made for the relatives and friends of the fallen.
The hymns, "Give us the wings faith to rise," and "Now the labourer's task is over," were sung, and the 23rd psalm was chanted.
The Rev. G. C. Twist (curate) read the lesson. The Vicar encouraged the congregation to "remember with thanksgiving and with honour before God and men, those from this parish who have given their lives in the service of their King and country," and there was an impressive silence for a few moments, the congregation kneeling.
After prayers Canon Lake dedicated the clergy stall, the brass tablet bearing the inscription: "Presented by Ambrose and Alice Darby in memory of their sons killed in the Great War—Stanley Edward, 1915; Harold Edgar, 1916. Also Harry Arthur, accidentally drowned 4th August, 1903."
As the processional hymn, "On the Resurrection morning," was being sung, the clergy and choir, followed by members of the Corporation, proceeded to the memorial outside for the unveiling ceremony. Apart from the gathering inside the church gates, there were lined up the roadway