Refurbished war memorial to be unveiled at Battle of Britain service

Published on 6th September 2016

war memorial

Sunday 18 September, 12noon Promenade

The Battle of Britain service will take place at the newly refurbished war memorial on the Promenade, on Sunday 18 September at 12 noon. This will be the very first event to take place at the memorial, following a 12 week restoration.

The service will start at approximately 12 noon, following the Battle of Britain church service at Cheltenham Minster and will include the unveiling of the new names which have been added to the memorial and an acknowledgment of the restoration work. Members of the public are warmly invited to attend the event which is being hosted by Cheltenham’s Mayor Chris Ryder.

Mayor Chris Ryder said:  “It is truly important to show our respects for those who served for our country all that time ago and it’s also a time to think about our current service men and women too. I hope that people will join us at the service.’’

Councillor Rowena Hay, cabinet member for property added: “I am so pleased that we will soon be able to unveil the newly restored war memorial.

“It’s important that all those who served are in our thoughts and remembered by future generations which is why I am delighted that names which were previously omitted have now been added on to the memorial and that the war memorial has been preserved for the future.’’

The council worked with local historians to research and identify people whose names were, due to error or lack of information at the time, omitted from the war memorial.  Six people were found, who fit the criteria of being born or living in Cheltenham (under its present day boundary) at the time they joined up; who died in active service, or of wounds or illness before 31st August 1921, and who are not on any other UK memorial. 

The names are:  Elizabeth Hannah Jane Roberts, (the first female to be named on the memorial); Private John George Cox; Private Leonard Ivin; Private Richard Fox; Rifleman Thomas Henry Baker and Private Alfred Belcher.

Air Vice-Marshal Tony Mason, of the Cheltenham Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association said: “It is most fitting to remember the tragic loss of life in World War 1 as we give thanks for victory in the Battle of Britain which averted the threat of similar losses in World War 2.’’

The war memorial restoration and activities are being funded by Cheltenham Borough Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the War Memorials Trust. 

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “As the home to several hospitals, the impact of First World War was felt strongly in Cheltenham. It’s fitting that this project will ensure the centenary commemorations leave a lasting legacy in the town, both by ensuring the war memorial is restored and through the accompanying programme of events that will pass on the experiences of those who served to new generations.”

For more information about the Battle of Britain service, please contact Jennie Ingram, Personal Assistant to the Mayor at jennie.ingram@cheltenham.gov.uk)  or on 01242 264108.


 

For media enquiries, please contact: Katie Sandey, communications and web team leader, telephone 01242 775037, email communications@cheltenham.gov.uk

Notes for the editor

Cheltenham Borough Council has recently raised funds to have Cheltenham War Memorial restored to its former glory and to organise a programme of activities in 2017 and 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War 1.   

The restoration and activities are being funded by Cheltenham Borough Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the War Memorials Trust. 

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery