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Campaign launched to restore Embsay war memorial
11:00am Saturday 12th October 2013 in News
Efforts are being made to ensure Embsay’s war memorial is in perfect condition before the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Parish councillor Hazel Chatwin and former squadron leader Frank Stokes are leading a campaign to get the memorial – which stands in a small garden outside the village hall – refurbished in time for the centenary celebrations next August.
And Coun Chatwin also wants to find out more about the men commemorated on the memorial, which has grade two listing.
“They are just names at the moment and it would be nice to find out a bit about them,” she said.
Erected in 1921, the memorial was designed by Steeton architect GL Clarke and was made from blocks of millstone grit, donated by the Duke of Devonshire.
It was unveiled by Lt Col CM Bateman and was dedicated by Archdeacon Cooke of Skipton. A second unveiling took place in August 1948 by Col F Longden-Smith after the fallen of the Second World War were added.
“The memorial needs renovating, but that is going to be costly,” said Coun Chatwin.
“We do not want it disintegrating and we don’t want the names to disappear. At the moment they are painted into the stonework, but if necessary we could transfer the names to a plaque.”
She said the parish council was looking at possible funding sources, including the War Memorial Trust.
The call for remedial action was first made by 86-year-old Mr Stokes, who joined the RAF as an apprentice in 1943 and worked his way up to squadron leader.
He saw action in the Middle East and was involved in the H-bomb testing around Christmas Island.
“Each side of the Cold War had thousands of such bombs,” he said. “Our civilisation was so nearly ended.
“Let us give thanks that it didn’t happen by giving generously to this appeal. We must match, by local contribution, any government grant to restore our war memorials.”
The names on the memorial are: W Jackson, J inman, B Emsley, CW Brown, JW Snowden, WR Humphries, ST Newsholme, P Watson, T Chapman, R Read, JHB Whitehead, H Thompson, G Smith, JW Scott, TH Read, J Raw, LH Phillip, J Osborn, W Inman, J Birkett, C Gant, JR Culshaw, FG Lee, J Smith, R Marshall, PH Edmonds, CD Hardwick and MP Phlilip.
Anyone with information about them, or memories of the war memorial being unveiled, are asked to contact Coun Chatwin on 01757 793308 or e-mail hmchatwin79@hot mail.co.uk
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