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VIDEO: First World War memorial unveiled at Morecambe school

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A forgotten war memorial was brought back to life at the weekend as Morecambe residents gathered at St Barnabas Church to remember those who fought in World War One.

The memorial which sits on the wall of West End Primary School, on Westminster Road, was first unveiled in 1923 by headteacher, Mr Hodgkinson, who fought in the war and survived.

However the plaque, which commemorates the nine boys of the school from Morecambe and Sandylands area who fought and died, soon became neglected over the years when the Cenotaph was erected.

Father Tom Davis, who led the service, was also a key figure in helping residents connect their family ties within the war.

Audrey Pearson, 80, from Morecambe, was there to learn about one of the names, her uncle Private Thomas Parker.

She said: “I didn’t know much about him, actually Father Tom was the one who told me about him, which is why I have come along today.”

Private Parker, 22, who lived in Gardner Road, was hit by a shell and died instantly at Flanders in 1918.

The Mayor of Lancaster, Susie Charles, and Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris, were there to lay the wreath upon the memorial which concluded the service.

Mr Morris said: “It is a history lesson to everyone. However when you see the pictures of the soldiers, many of whom lived in houses within the area, and you match their names on the plaque, it then doesn’t become a history lesson, it becomes real.

“It is a very important day it does remind a future generation that this is what happened. The plaque is part of all the fabric, it is our history.”

The full list of names are: Harrison Bailey of Regent Road, Stanley Bates of Claremont Road, Harold Carter and Harry Riley of Albert Road, William Kershaw of Hampton Road, William Newell of Westminster Road, John Nuttall of Springfield Street, Thomas Parker of Gardner Road and James Carter.

The commemoration service is part of the many events taking place across the UK to mark the centenary of the first world war.

 

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