YEOVIL NEWS: War memorials in Yeovil to be given poignant makeover to mark Armistice centenary
NEW bronze plaques are to be installed on the Yeovil War Memorial to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
As many people will be aware, 2018 is the centenary of the end of the First World War and Yeovil Town Council, who owns the War Memorial in the centre of Yeovil, is proposing to mark the occasion by having the stone cleaned and replacing the bronze plaques bearing the ‘Roll of Honour’.
This will allow the correction where necessary of the existing names, and the addition of 53 names of soldiers who were born in Yeovil and subsequently died as a direct result of the First World War.
This includes Private Ernest Horler who was ‘shot at dawn’, but pardoned by the Government in 2007.
The revised list of names on the ‘Roll of Honour’ has been compiled as a result of careful and detailed research by local historians Bob Osborn (creator of the website ‘The A – Z of Yeovil’s History’, www.yeovilhistory.info), and Jack Sweet. The town council is very grateful for their contribution to the project.
Originally, the names listed on the War Memorial were inscribed in the stone, and were as a result of local people putting forward names for inclusion in the ‘Roll of Honour’ following an advertisement in the local press in 1919. Unfortunately, many soldiers were overlooked and their names were not included.
Since this time bronze plaques have been added, not only because the original inscriptions became eroded, but also to accommodate additional names following requests from family members in subsequent years.
PHOTO - TOP: Yeovil War Memorial in the Borough of Yeovil and a 1919 advert which appeared in the local press.
Nevertheless, it has become apparent through research (including the 1911 Census, the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s website, the National Newspaper Archive, etc) that the names of a further 53 men who were born in Yeovil and died as a direct result of the First World War do not appear on the Memorial.
Therefore, the town council has drawn up a comprehensive list of names to be included in the Roll of Honour on the new plaques. In doing this, it has also come to light that there are many errors to the existing names, and the new plaques provide the opportunity to correct these.
The War Memorial is a Grade II listed building, and therefore an application for listed building consent has been submitted to South Somerset District Council.
The proposals include the cleaning of the Memorial before the new plaques are installed. If listed building consent is granted, the town council intends to re-dedicate the Memorial on Armistice Day later this year.
Cllr Rob Stickland, chairman of the town council’s buildings and civic matters committee, said “The cleaning of the Borough War Memorial and the installation of the new plaques for Armistice Day 2018, is a fitting tribute to all those men and women of Yeovil who lost their lives in both World Wars, and the addition of the new names will ensure the sacrifice of all will not be forgotten, as well as marking the Centenary.”
During the course of this project, it has also come to light that there are two men who were born in the (then) village of Preston Plucknett who are not included in the ‘Roll of Honour’ on the Preston Plucknett War Memorial.
Yeovil Town Council also owns this memorial and has therefore arranged for the names of these two additional men to be added before Armistice Day this year.