Sunday, July 12, 2015

A 21st Century Remembrance for Wigton, Cumbria

1. High Street, Wigton, Cumberland (now Cumbria)
Part of a town centre area with few green spaces
(The Methodist Church is on the left hand side)
2. Wigton Memorial Playing Fields and Memorial Cairn
(Purchased in 1920 and re-dedicated in 1993)
Remembering the townsfolk hose who served in WW1
3. Wigton Memorial Garden at the corner of High Street
A 21st Century Remembrance wall for the town
(The project was developed between 2006 and 2014)
4. Remembrance panels on the wall of the Memorial Garden
(Remembering Wigton's war dead of the two World Wars)
5. Panel telling the story of Wigton's losses during WW1
(There is no equivalent panel for WW2)
6. Wigton's 'Roll of Honour' of the two World Wars
(It lists the names of townsfolk who died in WW1 and WW2)
For additional information click on 'Comments' below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

In 2006 a ‘Memorial Garden Group’ was set up for the market town of Wigton in N.W. Cumbria with the idea to set up a memorial garden in the town centre area to remember those who had died in the two World Wars of the 20th Century. While Wigton does have a war memorial it is located in the municipal cemetery more than a mile (c. 1.5 kms) from the town centre and remembers some casualties from Wigton’s neighbouring parishes as well as the town itself. For information and photographs about Wigton and this war memorial click on the following link:
The War Memorial of Wigton, Cumbria .

The rest of this article deals with Wigton’s Memorial Garden, which is actually more of a ‘Remembrance Wall’. It has been developed close to the town centre in the early years of the 21st Century leading up the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War in 2014. Wigton in the year immediately after the First World War was short of parkland or green field land within the town boundary.

Wigton’s WW1 Memorial Playing Fields

In Wigton, even the town’s churchyards were thought not to have sufficient space for a memorial that would be a suitable location for a memorial remembering those who died in the 1914 – 1918 war. Part of Wigton’s urban area, the town’s High Street, can be seen in Photograph No. 1. For example, it can be seen there is no space for a memorial in front of the town’s Methodist Church as the building is immediately next to the pavement.

Thus, the lack of suitable space to place a memorial in the town centre was the principal reason that the post-WW1 municipal war memorial for Wigton was located in the cemetery which lies on the outskirts of town. Following WW2, the names of those who died in the 1939 – 1945 war were added to the memorial in the municipal cemetery.

In addition to this memorial, in 1920 another piece of land on the outskirts of the town was purchased. This became a memorial playing field to the memory of those who served in the 1914 – 1918 war (i.e. not just those who died in that war). These playing fields remain in use for many sports to the modern day. There is a large sandstone cairn marking the fact these playing fields remember the townsfolk who served in the first so-called ‘Great War’ of the 20th Century [Photograph No. 2].

A re-dedication ceremony took place in 1993 when Wigton’s by-pass road was completed to keep a lot of the heavy traffic from the town centre area. The cairn does not record any names from WW1 and there is no reference to WW2 there are two metal plaques which explain its significance:

(a) “This playing field was purchased in 1920 to perpetuate the memory of the townspeople of Wigton who served in the Great War 1914 – 1918”;

(b) “This playing field was re-dedicated by the Wigton Town Council to commemorate the opening of the Wigton By-pass on 7th April 1993.
This Memorial was built by the contractors – Alfred McAlpine Construction Ltd. – and the plaques were provided by UCB Films plc”.

Sunday, 12 July, 2015  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The Wigton Memorial Garden: a 21st Century Remembrance project

When the proposals for a memorial garden for Wigton was made in 2006 it was generally agreed a good place for it to be situated would be at the corner of High Street and Water Street, across the road from the town’s main junior school: Thomlinson Junior School. This would enable, and indeed encourage, Wigton’s junior school-age children to learn about the service men and women of the First and Second World War.

The project was financially supported by the local councils, local British Legion and other organisations and a sandstone wall created by Armistice Day 2007. It was also proposed to have the following features:

A garden of flowers;

Four granite blocks listing the names of those who were killed in both World Wars;

A carved monument in pink Shap granite of a woman and child, representing the families who stayed behind;

A flag pole to fly an English or British flag.

Not all of these features had been completed by 2014, the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War. Nevertheless, it has become effectively a ‘Remembrance Wall’ (rather than a garden) with a bed of flowers at either end, a flagpole, two benches and metal panels (rather than granite) listing the names of those who died in the World Wars [Photograph No. 3].
Photograph No. 4 shows the four metal panels that were placed on the wall in 2014. The first panel tells a little of Wigton’s story in the 1914 – 1918 war [Photograph No. 5]. There is no equivalent panel telling the story of the 1939 – 1945 war. Photograph No. 6 shows the three panels listing the townsfolk who died in the World Wars.

Sunday, 12 July, 2015  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The ‘Roll of Honour’ of Wigton’s Memorial Garden

Below are the names listed on the ‘Remembrance Wall’ of Wigton Memorial Garden (N.B. - there are a small number of differences with those listed on the earlier memorial located in the town cemetery):

“They gave their lives for their country”.
1914 – 1918

Pte. John Armstrong
Cpl. Joseph Carr
Spr. D. A. Sutherland
Sgt. J. W. Powley
Cpl. T. J. Williamson
Lt. L. H. Davis
Pte. T. Park
Pte. T. J. Brady
Pte. R. Wilson
Pte. Jos. Haney
Pte. John Baxter
Pte. John Fell
Pte. Wm. Dixon
Trooper Jas. Hampson
Pte. John Robinson
Pte. Jos. Storey
Pte. Robt. Pearson
Pte. Geo. Fisher
Pte. Jon Reay
Lt. N. H. P. Salusbury
L/Cpl. W. P. Chicken
Lt. F. R. L. Bell
Pte. J. Hogg
Gnr. Wm. Lawson
Pte. Robt. Carr
Pte. H. Pearson
Stoker John Hyslop
Pte. H. R. Hoodless
Pte. S. Darwood
Cpl. H. Greenup
Pte. L. Hodgson

Pte. H. Askew
Pte. T. W. Heslam
Gnr. John Ashbridge
Lt. J. P. Lawson
Sgt. E. Marsden
Pte. Jos. Ashbridge
Pte. Jos. Carson
Pte. Wm. Dodd
Sgt. J. F. Highmoor
Pte. Thos. Barnes
Sgt. R. W. Plenderleath
Pte. H. Mitchinson
Pte. A. Denholm
Lt. A. L. Humphreys
Pte. W. P. Weightman
L/Cpl. Jos. Hall
Driv. Wm. Clark
Pte. C. Tennant
Cpl. John Irving
Pte. J. H. Shepherd
Cpl. T. H. Walker
Pte. Jos. Graham
Pte. H. H. Pearson
Pte. T. B. Holdsworth
Pte. J. Pennington
Sgt. Thos. Dixon
Pte. Jas. Brady
Lt. John Donald
L/Cpl. R. C. Frizzel
Pte. Thos. Dodd
Rfm. Jos. Blair
Pte. C. McCahy
Pte. J. W. Mecahy
Sgt. W. Studholme
Pte. R. Twentyman
Pte. Arthur Hall
Lt. E. T. White
Rfm. Jas. Scott
Pte. J. W. Musgrave
Gnr. John Short
Pte. J. W. Graham
Sgt. Jos. Hampson
Lt. Wm. Sinton
Pte. J. S. McQuiggans
Sgt. Albert Dodd
Pte. Thos. Cook
Pte. J. N. Chicken
Sgt. John Veitch
Major Sam Rigg
Cdt. J. H. B. Kayss
Pte. J. F. C. Pattinson
Pte. J. P. Wilkinson
Pte. J. Gilbertson
Sgt. J. S. Holliday
Pte. J. McLachlan
Lt. Stanley Rigg
Pte. Chris. Barnes
Pte. Isaac Peel
Pte. Thos. Pearson
Pte. B.J. Carrick
Pte. Anthony Barnes
Sig. J. O. Oversby
Pte. Jos. Snodden
Pte. T. Coulthard
L/Cpl. J. R. Harris
Bomb. F. Barnes
Pte. Jas. H. Holliday
Pte. Bert Watson
Pte. Harry Dodd
Pte. G. T. Henderson
L/Cpl. J. G. Strong
L/Cpl. Wm. Waite
Pte. W. Armstrong
Drv. Wm. Martin
Lt. J. J. Twentyman
Gnr. Alf. Dessauer
Lt. J. C. Lazonby
Lt. J. E. Moffat
L/Cpl. R. Wilson
L/Cpl. Wm. Stanley Pape
Pte. W. S. Wilson
Pte. J. H. Muirhead
Pte. Freeman Robinson
Pte. Wm. McKenzie
Pte. Jos. Oliphant
Pte. T. W. Little
Joseph Frill
John Hammill
Driv. John Slee
Pte. G. Oliphant
Nurse Isabel Hope

Sunday, 12 July, 2015  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

1939 – 1945

G. W. Ashbridge
R. Ashbridge
M. (Kathy) Barnes
T. Barnes
J. S. Bell
J. J. Brady
W. Crellin
T. Donelly
L. Easdon
H. Fell
R. Foster
E. Graham
T. (Binky) Armstrong
G. Graham
H. N. Hall
J. Hampson
F. Haney
W. Feddon
W. S. Irwin
J. Miller
T. Musgrave
H. Scott
J. A. Scott
J. Shepherd
G. H. Smith
V. Smith
J. T. Stoddart
E. Stordy
R. G. Thomlinson
D. Thwaite
J. Watson
G. D. Wilkinson
R.M. Aitken
J. Ashbridge
M. K. Barnes
F. Bragg
P. Williamson

Sunday, 12 July, 2015  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...


This article is dedicated to the townsfolk of Wigton who lost their lives in the two World Wars:

“We giving all, gained all.
Neither lament us nor praise;
Only, in all things recall
It is fear, not death, that slays.”
[Rudyard Kipling]

Sunday, 12 July, 2015  

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