Have you ever sat on a memorial bench, read the inscription, and wondered who that person may have been? What were their interests and hobbies and why was a bench the perfect memorial for them?

This blog has been created to give you an insight into the fascinating people and stories behind the benches we sell at Memorial Benches UK.

If you have ordered a memorial bench with us and would like to share your story, please email us at mail@memorialbenchesuk.co.uk.



Bob Chapman's Memorial Bench

Bob Chapman was an amazing gentleman – he was a gentle giant, quiet and unassuming, always putting others before himself (almost to the detriment of himself) and was highly intelligent. He had a diverse career and was a teacher, a scientist, a benefits officer, a pharmacist, a patents researcher and treasurer to multiple organizations. 

Bob was an only child who grew up with loving parents.  He was built to play rugby and sadly developed severe epilepsy from a head injury when playing at school so turned his skills to cricket, where he played and won at County level and for his University too.  Despite being on what we would now class as heavy drugs for his epilepsy, due to the medication available at the time, Bob achieved many and great things throughout his life as you can see from his career.

He had a deep faith and his Church Family at St Laurence became very dear to him over the twenty years of him living in Slough. He was also a Mason and rose to Master of his Lodge which gave us all immense pride.  Bob did not have children of his own but we were his adopted family.  He met Topsy when he moved to Slough and became involved in the Management Committee for the housing development where they both lived.  A love of dance meant they took ballroom dancing classes together and, in true Strictly fashion, a love story ensued.  Bob and Topsy lived opposite each other and were partners for twenty years.  This arrangement suited them both as, for example, Topsy’s television ‘did not show cricket or football’ so Bob would go home for that, although they did everything else together.

Bob’s sense for helping others covered all aspects of his life from Masonry, the Church and being a benefits officer in Slough.  He was treasurer for his Church, for the Deanery Synod, for local organizations and for Masonry too.  He was a gentleman to the last who just gave of himself all the time.  This showed itself at his funeral service where dozens upon dozens of people came, all of whom had had their hearts touched in some way by Bob and his actions.  He passed away quietly with dignity, as he had lived in life.

For our family, Bob was there when our children were born.  He had never had involvement with children and had never even held a baby before so, when our eldest son was put into his arms at only a few hours old, magic happened before our eyes and an Adopted Grandfather was born.  I still to this day am not sure who was the biggest child in the toy shop when the excuse was used that we needed to go shoe shopping for school!  Bob and our two sons had a wonderful bond and would regularly go off together on the train to Windsor, all looking after each other.  They adored Bob and knew that he would be game to do anything with them.  They regularly came back from the park, along with my husband too, after some misadventure, laughing their heads off and full of tales.

When I took on Bob’s role of Executrix I knew that I wanted to give or recycle as many of Bob’s possessions as I could as he would have wanted this and I am proud of that achievement.  In the same vein, we wanted to be able to let Bob still give to others after his death and the idea from my youngest son of having a memorial bench for him was born – Bob would be able to give someone rest when they were weary.


Mick Darnell's Memorial Bench

Mick was not one for a headstone, I carried out his wishes.


Placing the Bench was easy for me as Mick loved his fishing, it is located at his favourite fishing lake.

He was one of 5 friends that used to go every Tuesday, Ed, Tony, Alan, Roger and Mick.

Mick was the kindest man that I knew and a gentle person,

He was my best friend.

I could talk to him about anything.

I love him and not a day goes by that I don't think about him.


The bench is more than I expected, lovely.

Engraving was perfect - He was Simply the best



Robin Clarke's Memorial Bench

A memorial bench was fitting for a number of reasons; it provides a place for people to sit and reflect on the reason for the bench being there in the first place; or to encourage people to remain and enjoy the garden within which it is located.
The bench is located in a private garden cared for by the owners of the properties, including the University, which are built around it. Although private, it is open to the public and two other memorial benches have been placed on a path that runs inside the boundary line. Our memorial bench has been similarly placed.
Ogden Nash was a favourite author of my parents, because of his wit and clever use of language. The poem chosen is entitled, ‘A warning to husbands’, but we felt the words could apply to both of our parents and reflected the reality of life and that all marriages inevitably have to deal with differences of opinion from time to time.
"To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it; Whenever you're right, shut up."
The garden within which the bench is situated was an important place for my father, who took an interest in the maintenance of the fixtures and fittings and its amenity for the local residents and visitors alike. The bench is sited where my father’s ashes are buried in accordance with his wishes. My parents were also students at the university about 70 years ago and have have lived in St Andrews since the mid 1980s. It is my mother’s wish to have her ashes buried beside her husband when that time comes. 
The family is pleased that a bench was chosen to remember our parent’s association with St Andrews.


If you have ordered a bench with us and would like to share your story, please email us at mail@memorialbenchesuk.co.uk