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Westminster Abbey Honours PG Wodehouse

Friday, 20th September 2019

Westminster Abbey Honours PG Wodehouse

HRH The Duke of Kent attended the dedication of a memorial stone to PG Wodehouse at Westminster Abbey on Friday 20th September 2019.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who had announced his decision to honour the English writer last year.

The Address was given by Alexander Armstrong, President of the P G Wodehouse Society.

Alexander Armstrong also read an extract from The Code of the Woosters, (1938). Lucy Tregear, actress, read from The Mating Season (1949). Martin Jarvis, actor, read an extract from Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend, in Blandings Castle (1933).

Hal Cazalet and Lara Cazalet, accompanied by Stephen Higgins, sang Oh Gee! Oh Joy! from Rosalie, with lyrics by Wodehouse and music by George Gershwin, and My Castle in the Air from Miss Springtime by Wodehouse and Jerome Kern.

At the dedication in the South Quire Aisle, the Duke of Kent asked the Dean formally to receive and dedicate the memorial stone. Flowers were laid by Hilary Bruce, Chairman of the P G Wodehouse society, and David Cazalet, descendent.

The prayers were led by the Dean.

The memorial, made of limestone and measuring 708mm x 500mm was designed by Stephen Raw and carved by Annet Stirling. The full inscription reads:

P G

WODEHOUSE

1881 – 1975

HUMOURIST * NOVELIST * PLAYWRIGHT * LYRICIST

The decision whether or not to place a memorial in Westminster Abbey is the responsibility of the Dean of Westminster alone.

During the Dean’s time in office, memorials have been placed in the Abbey church to the founders of the Royal Ballet, the founder of the National Trust, the first governor of New South Wales, former Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan, David Frost, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Gaskell, the Orcadian John Rea, James Watt’s colleague Matthew Boulton, the brothers Owen and Henry Chadwick and Nelson Mandela. Stephen Hawking's ashes have been buried between the graves of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. He has buried in the nave the ashes of his two most recent predecessors as Dean, Michael Mayne and Wesley Carr. In the cloisters, he has dedicated memorials to the three Intelligence Services and to the Armed Forces.


Order of Service for The Dedication of a Memorial Stone to P G Wodehouse (PDF, 321KB)

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