A SILVER model of a church destroyed in a wartime air-raid that
was said to have been orchestrated by the Nazi propagandist William
Joyce is estimated as likely to sell for up to £12,000.
St Mark's was one of eight churches in Bromley, Kent, hit during
the night of 16 April 1941, in a raid that some claimed at the time
deliberately targeted ecclesiastical buildings. It was suggested
that Joyce, known colloquially as Lord Haw Haw, had helped to
pinpoint the churches using knowledge that he had gathered when he
lived in the area before the war. He also mentioned Bromley
frequently in his radio broadcasts from Berlin.
The ten-inch-tall model shows the late-Victorian church in
detail, and includes a miniature clock in the bell-tower. It was
presented in 1905 to the church's benefactor, Sir Thomas Charles
Dewey, on his retirement after three decades as a churchwarden.
In 1897, in partnership with another local man, he paid £500 for
a plot of land for the building of St Mark's, and recruited the
architect Evelyn Hellicar - the son of the then Vicar of Bromley,
the Revd Arthur G. Hellicar - to design a church in the Victorian
High Gothic style. The building was consecrated in 1898.
The destruction of St Mark's - only the tower was left standing
- came as plans were being finalised to create its own parish. Nine
weeks after the bombing, its first priest-in-charge was licensed,
and services were held in the church hall, with an annual service
in the ruins, to signal the intention to rebuild. In 1947, a former
Welsh Rugby international, the Revd J. Alban Davies, became the
first Vicar. A new church was begun in 1952, when a cornerstone was
laid on the old building's foundations.
The model, made in 1905 by the silversmiths Elkington & Co.,
is being auctioned by Bonhams at its Knightsbridge salerooms on 29