Thursday, November 16, 2006

Those who were once like us

One of the stories I contributed to the "People's War" project as a volunteer for BBC Radio Cumbria CSV Action Desk Team concerned the dedication of a War Memorial in the small West Cumbrian town of Cleator Moor on Remembrance Sunday 2005. This is a small town with a population of about 9000 and is about 3 miles from where I live. A link to this story can be found here

Anyone who looks hard enough around the town will find War Memorials for the First and Second World War. There is one by a roadside and some of the existing or former churches have memorials for their former parishioners. As I explain in the "People's War" story for some years some townsfolk have suggested that the Town Council had a War memorial for the whole town regardless of religion or denomination. This resulted in the dedication of the Memorial Sculpture seen in the photograph.

While there are no names of the Fallen on the Memorial the Town Council had been given the names of many of those killed in wars and conflicts with links to the town. Thes Council has a list of names originating from various sources, such as the Church War memorials and letters from friends and relatives. At the request of the Town Council Chairman, over recent weeks I have been attempting to put the details into an appropriate format so that they will be remembered.

By far the vast majority of deaths occurred during the two World Wars. As might be expected the list for WW1 is larger than that for WW2. So far I have a list of about 130 for WW1 while the list for WW2 so far numbers 79. As I have researched more about WW2 than other periods I found I already had information about some of those from Cleator Moor who died between 1939 and 1945. The resting places, where known, of these townsfolk range from those in one of the local churchyards to Japan. Wherever they rest, once I have completed the details of the these former citizens of Cleator Moor the council will decide how 'those who were once like us' will be displayed in the town they knew so well and was their home.


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