The lych gate was originally dedicated on 1st February 1919, in memory of Emma Susan Wickham. Her husband, Herbert Wickham paid for its erection. Below is an article which appeared in the parish magazine at that time:
THE LYCH GATE
This, the gift of the Vicar’s Warden, Mr H T Wickham , in memory of his wife, was dedicated by the Vicar on the afternoon of All Saints’ Day. The day chosen was obviously one very suited for such a purpose, from the associations connected with it, and the occasion was made on an opportunity as well for a Service for the members of the Mothers’ Union, in that she, to whose memory this gift has been erected, was a loyal member of our local Mothers’ Union branch.
The Service, which was largely attended, was held first in Church, afterwards at the Lych Gate itself, where the dedication itself took place. The Vicar gave an address bearing on the teaching of All Saints’ Day, and which contained the following allusion to the Dedication purpose, for which the Service was being held.
“As to that other special purpose for meeting here this afternoon. I am going to claim a fitness for it, from its coincidence with the date. It is All Saints’ Day; a day closely associated with our beloved dead. It is also a Mothers’ Union Service Day. I am, in a few moments, going to ask you to join with me in consecrating the new Lych Gate, which, as you all know, has been erected to the memory of one who, while she lived, was a constant worshipper in this our parish House of God; one who won, and won deservedly, a very warm place in the esteem and affection of all of us who were privileged to know her; whose going from us we marked with sincerest sorrow, in that, when God took her from us with such startling suddenness, He took one whom we spared with grudging grace, one whose gentle helpful life amongst us was a real inspiration for what was true and good. She was a member of this your Mothers’ Union; she as a Mother, yes, and one of the very best, as they who were privileged to call her Mother will be the first to urge. We are about to dedicate a Lych Gate to her memory this afternoon; it is a gift which is, indeed, a worthy one, worthy of our fine old Parish Church. When we pass within its shadow, as it leads our footsteps to this God’s House, may it serve to remind us, as it is bound to do, of one of God’s good women, one who made goodness the first purpose of her life; and, when as is like to happen, in the case of some who are listening to me now, when you are carried on your last journey, feet foremost across its lintels, to be placed to your last long rest, may it be said of you, as it may in truth be said of her, that your going, as hers did, marked for Yalding a distinct loss.”