Marton's World War One memorial gets refurbished

The memorial on Whitegate Drive has been cleaned up.
The memorial on Whitegate Drive has been cleaned up.

Next month remembrance Day will be the Centenary of the First World War ending.

More than 700,000 soldiers were killed during the conflict and at least 64 of those men were from Marton, remembered on a war memorial outside St Paul’s Church on Whitegate Drive.

It has been at the site since 1921.

It has been at the site since 1921.

For the centenary event next month, the Martonians have decided to refurbish and redecorate the memorial and are hoping to make use of the cross’ blank back to add names of Marton soldiers killed in subsequent conflicts.

The runic cross, which is shaped in white marble, was first erected on March 20, 1921. It was donated in memory of Lieutenant Colonel F.A Dickson CMG by J & P Dickson of The Mount and features 64 soldiers names killed during the 1914-1918 war.

Pauline Wilson, a Parochial church council member of St Paul’s, said the figure is greater than you initially think.

She said: “In those days Marton was only a small village so having 64 victims from the same place was a heck of a lot.”

Pauline, 78, who has been part of the church since she was christened as child, is behind the initial idea of getting the memorial cleaned up .

She said: “My Uncle was killed in the war and his name is on the memorial so when I saw it a while back I realised how bad it had got and knew it needed to be done.

“I have been part of the church since birth and I don’t think it has ever had a proper clean or renovation, so it was definitely time for it and it was good timing for the centenary as well.”

Pauline, who lives on Whitegate Drive, said: “We would also like to add the names and remember anyone from Marton killed from the Second World War to current conflicts now.

“We already have two names but I would guess there would be more. One of those men was killed in the Second World War and the other in Afghanistan.”

The renovation of the memorial, which will include all of the soldiers names being inscribed again after being worn way, has been partly funded through a £4,000 ward grant.

Marton councillor Jim Elmes said he was approached by the Martonians about the memorial renovation.

He said: “We had the funding in the budget and I believe it is a good thing for the people of Marton to be remembered as they gave so much for their country.

“I think the idea of adding on additional names on the rear of the memorial is also great, as they are equally deserving of the remembrance for fighting for their country.

The Martonians also raised money from a sponsored walk earlier in the year.

Ken Oldfield, vice chairman of the group, organised the sponsored walk which saw £1,010 raised.

He said: “We walked from North Pier to South Pier, which doesn’t sound like a long way but we are all pensioners so it felt quite far.

“The memorial should have been renovated previously but we have only spent about five months arranging for all of this to be done and the councillors have been very supportive of our mission to get it done by the centenary next month.

“The plans are now for the names to be inscribed, a new bench and a general tidy up of the area around the memorial but also to hopefully get more people contacting us to add further names on the rear of the cross.”

REMEMBERED

St Paul’s Church currently has two additional names that will be added to the Whitegate Drive memorial but the Martonians and the church hope more names can be added in time for the Centenary service on November 11.

If you know of anyone who was born or lived in Marton and was killed during active service in conflicts, please get in touch with Pauline Wilson via email pandjwilson912@gmail.com or call (01253) 987529.