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St Nicolas’ owns drawings prepared in 1913 for a restoration of the church which never took place. A letter with them from an H M Townsend to the Rector (Canon Quirk) catches the mood in October 1914 just before the full horror of trench warfare was revealed:
"I am afraid many good works will have to wait till the war is over. I congratulate you on your son getting a Commission. All this patriotism which has so stirred up Old England is what the German Emperor did not arrange for and I hope it will be his undoing. My brother Alfred’s only son has just got a Commission in a cavalry regiment and is now training on Salisbury Plain."
The war was to result in far more casualties than either of them could have imagined. The lectern in the church is a memorial to the six among them from Great Coates. Their names also appear at the top of the War Memorial which was placed on the outside of the village Reading Room. Lower down are the names of all those who served. Beneath this is a further tablet with two names from the Second World War. Now that the Reading Room is closed, Great Coates Parish Council is asking that the War Memorial be relocated to the churchyard, possibly set in a new wall at the north end; there will be wide consultation with interested parties and heritage bodies before any plans are made or work done.

Our War Memorials

St Michael’s uses, most weeks, a communion paten (a small silver plate) which commemorates Walter Goodrich ‘who served at the altar of this church 1912-1918' and died in action aged 20. The War Memorial for what was then Little Coates parish in which he lived was erected near the homes of most of those commemorated by it (near Little Coates School). There are no names on this, instead a list of all those who served is hung at St Michael’s some distance away in what was then that area’s Parish Church across fields. Second World War names have not been added possibly because by then the parish was part of the Borough of Grimsby with its own War Memorial.The Little Coates War Memorial now stands in the grounds of the West Marsh Community Centre; it must be one of very few War Memorials now located outside the area for which it was erected, and those who gave permission to move it may have been under the false impression that it commemorates those from the old West Marsh of Grimsby.

To complete the picture, Bradley does not have a First World War memorial, and it was only in 1975 that a memorial plaque was commissioned for inside the church naming those who died in the Second World War.