Published on 21st October 2021
The names of two soldiers who lost their lives following service in World War 1 will be added to Cheltenham War Memorial.
The names of Cheltenham born Corporal Francis Howard Pargeter, who died on 20 April 1921, having served in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and the Labour Corps and Pioneer Joseph George Mitchell who served in the Royal Engineers and died on 22 August 1920 will be added to the list of those remembered.
The addition of the names comes 100 years to the month since Cheltenham War Memorial was officially unveiled in a commemorative ceremony on 1 October 1921 Cheltenham War Memorial – Cheltenham Remembers and members of the families of the men will join the Mayor on 11 November to remember them.
In 2016, Cheltenham Borough Council carried out a major restoration of Cheltenham War Memorial, supported by grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the War Memorials Trust. This included the addition of 6 new names, along with cleaning and repainting some of the names that had become hard to read, replacing lamps to match the original design and adding an interpretation board with information about the memorial.
Corporal Pargeter and Pioneer Mitchell were not included in the list of names added in 2016, as there was not conclusive evidence to attribute their deaths to their service, however after significant research by family members of Corporal Pargeter and further examination of the case by local historians, it was agreed by the council and the War Memorials Trust that the names of both men should be added.
Although both had local connections either being born in the town, or living in Cheltenham at the time they joined up, neither are listed on any other local war memorial and both died before 31 August 1921 which was the cut-off date for submission of names. In both cases, the Army authorised an official Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone.
Sandra Herbert, relative of Corporal Francis Pargeter said: “Adding the names of these soldiers on the centenary shows that Cheltenham honours its war dead and that the sacrifice of young men and women, whatever the conflict, is never underestimated or forgotten.”
Councillor Flo Clucas, Cabinet Member for Safety and Communities said, ‘Two young men, Corporal Pargeter and Pioneer Mitchell, will have their names added to the memorial this month. As they are never forgotten by their families, their sacrifice will be now remembered by our whole town for all time. May they rest in peace.”
Work is to be carried out imminently by Cliveden Conservation, who carried out the restoration work in 2016, when weather conditions allow and will be completed by 11 November.
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