The upper bridge was built in dedication to brothers Stephen and Gerald Spring Rice. Eldest brother Stephen was a senior civil servant and held the offices of Principal Clerk in the Treasury, together with Auditor of the Civil List at the time of his death, at the age of 46 in 1902. His brother Cecil, always maintained that his dedication to service of the nation was such that he died from overwork. Stephen is buried at nearby All Saints Church, Watermillock.
Gerald the youngest of the three brothers emigrated to farm in Canada but returned at the outbreak of the Great War and served as Transport Officer with the 11th (Lonsdale) Battalion, The Border Regiment. Gerald was killed in action by a stray bullet, at the eve of the Battle of the Somme, on the 26th May 1916, aged 51. He is buried at the Authuile Military Cemetery, France.
The lower bridge was erected to honour the memory of Sir Cecil Arthur Spring Rice by family, friends and colleagues. Sir Cecil served the nation as a career diplomat and in 1912, he was appointed as ‘His Majesty’s Ambassador to Washington’, a role that was to prove pivotal in the final determination of the Great War. He died unexpectedly in Ottawa, Canada, in February 1918, en-route to his return home to the UK, he was 58 years of age. Sir Cecil is buried in the Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa. Throughout his life Sir Cecil also wrote poetry, he it was who gave the words to one of the nations’ most iconic hymns – ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’.
by Gordon Lightburn