A former Sutton-in-Craven man who now lives in Australia is one of the driving forces behind a project to add 11 new names of fallen soldiers to the Sutton war memorial.
Andrew Monkhouse, 53, who grew up in Sutton but emigrated to Adelaide in 1994, has spent years researching information about the village war memorial, which contains the names of 40 soldiers from World War One and 15 from World War Two.
Andrew, who attended Sutton County Primary School and South Craven Secondary School, said: “As a small child growing up in Sutton I was always fascinated by the park war memorial. I would read the names and wonder what it was all about.
“As I grew older I began to learn the terrible truth about what had happened during World War One and World War Two. I then developed a keen interest in collecting military medals in my teens.
“With the advent of the internet and various websites such as Craven’s Part in the Great War, I finally decided to compile a profile on each of the 40 names listed on the Sutton memorial from World War One to try to put a face to each of the names and create a story of each individual soldier as a lasting tribute to the ultimate sacrifice they each made for the good of future generations.
“I managed to complete all 40 profiles in time for the 90th anniversary of the unveiling of the Sutton war memorial in March 2011.
“However, during the process of researching the 40 soldiers listed on the memorial, it became evident that not every soldier from Sutton who died during World War One was commemorated.
“A medal-collecting friend of mine, Robert Smith from Cowling, and I decided to try to identify as many names as possible that were missing from the memorial. After some extensive inquiries, we identified 11 definite omissions.” The names of the “missing” soldiers are Albert Akrigg, Bertram Greenwood Clough, Francis John Kay, George Frederick Thorpe, Harri Willis Edwards, James Mosley, John Smith, Joseph William Nelson, Samuel Smith, Sylvester Petty and Thomas Wright Carson. Profiles of the men can found by visiting sutton-in-craven.org.uk/sicmemorialadditions.asp.
Andrew said: “I believe that these men deserve to be recognised as much as the 40 men who have already been immortalised and commemorated on the village war memorial.”
It is hoped to commemorate the names of the 11 soldiers in a ceremony at the war memorial in Sutton Park in August.
Andrew, who hopes to attend the ceremony, said: “It is proposed that the addition of the new name plaque containing the names of the ‘missing’ 11 soldiers from Sutton coincides with the 100th centenary of the outbreak of World War I on Sunday, August 3, 2014. Actually Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, so Sunday the 3rd will be the 100th anniversary of the last day of peace.”
On the day, Haworth Home Guard will march to the memorial and stand to attention while all 51 names of the World War One casualties are called out and the Last Post will be sounded by a bugler. To mark the occasion, 150 souvenir pamphlets will be handed out containing a photo of each of the fallen soldiers.