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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Our war dead remembered at last - in name

WORKINGTON’S new war memorial will be officially unveiled on Sunday, May 11.

The wall-mounted roll of honour will consist of 882 names cut into five brass plaques and seated on a framed oak board.

It will be consecrated at a public service of commemoration in St Michael’s Church from 6.30 pm.

The service will be led by the Rector of Workington, Canon Bryan Rowe, who has worked with Workington Town Council since it decided in 2006 to establish a second memorial.

The original memorial, which will remain in place, is a 30ft granite obelisk in Vulcan Park, unveiled in 1928.

It carries no names, and it was their absence which inspired a campaign by World War Two veteran Ben Evans, 87, of Shelley Court, Salterbeck, to press for a new memorial.

Ben, who lost a brother, Gunner Alfred (Dimp) Evans in the North African campaign in 1941, said: “I began to think that I would not live to see the day when this unbelievable situation was finally put right.

“This is marvellous news for me, because I think of Dimp every day, marvellous news for all the families who still grieve, and marvellous news for Workington.”

The new memorial will list the names of the 880 men and two women from Workington who have died since 1914 on active service.

There are 644 names immortalised from World War One, 236 names from World War Two, one from the Korean War and the name of Kingsman Danny Wilson of Wastwater Avenue, Workington, who was killed in Iraq last year.

Kingsman Wilson’s name is the last on the list, although there is room for 35 more.

The first is that of Royal Navy Artificer Leonard Adams, of Peter Street, the holder of the Distinguished Service Medal and who was drowned at sea on January 31, 1918, while serving on a submarine.

The town’s two female casualties of war were both nursing sisters with Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service - Catherine Brown, of Harrington Road who was killed in World War One and Gladys Waters, of Ellerbank, Harrington, who was killed in 1942.

Workington mayor Nik Hardy said: “It is right and fitting that we remember those from Workington who have died serving their country.

“During the Remembrance parade every November we pledge ‘we will remember them.’ We are now able to honour them as people and remember them as individuals .

“I'm sure that I speak for everyone at the town council when I pay tribute to everyone involved in preparing this commemorative plaque.

“There has been a great deal of research undertaken to ensure that all those who should be honoured appear on the plaques.

“A number of people have worked tirelessly over many years to make this happen."

The collation and verification of the names was done by town clerk Peter Hayes.

The memorial was designed by architectural planner and town/borough council member Bob Hardon and the oak setting was made by George Chambers, of Chambers Timber, Workington.

The lettering has been done by Motif Sign & Display, Workington.

As Harrington did not become part of Workington until 1928, its war dead from World War One were not technically residents of the town, but all are included on the memorial. Private Andrew Morrow of the Australian Infantry was a resident of New South Wales when he died in France on Christmas Day, 1916 - but he was a native of Workington. His name is also on the roll.

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