As Melton prepares this weekend to honour its war dead with the annual Remembrance Sunday parade, organisers of a fundraising campaign to upgrade and enhance the town’s memorial to the fallen in the gardens of Egerton Lodge have announced they have hit their £14,000 target.
The cash has been donated by residents, relatives of veterans and local companies, together with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, following an appeal made a year ago by the Melton Times and Melton Mowbray Town Estate to provide interpretation boards with detailed information of every local member of the armed services who has been killed in action over the last century.
The new displays, which are expected to be erected in the spring, will augment the existing eight stone plaques at the memorial which merely list the names of hundreds of service personnel who have died on active duty.
New web pages listing those from the town who have given the ultimate sacrifice, together with their service records and date of death, went online this week as part of the initative, which is intended to inform and educate future generations. These records, which are on the town estate’s website, will be updated as more information comes to light.
Town feoffee John Southerington, who is co-ordinating the project, said: “We have reached our target thanks to the generosity of the people of Melton.
“We thought we would launch the web pages this week with Remembrance Sunday coming up although there is still a lot of work to be done on that because we have only listed the names of those killed in the First World War.
“We hope to have got all the information early next year so we can put the boards up around spring.”
The new web pages contain two lists of names - those who are already recorded on the war memorial at Egerton Lodge and those who do not appear on the memorial but who have a Melton connection.
Some of them may have enlisted at one of the villages but gave Melton as their home because it was the nearest large town.
More information is sought about the latter service personnel to determine if they were from the town and if they should be added to its war memorial rather than one displayed at a rural location.
Mr Southerington said: “It is quite poignant when you read the names on the lists and their service records. One which caught my eye was Tom Whittaker, a private in the Leicestershire Regiment, who was killed on November 6, 1918, which, of course, was so close to the end of the war.”
Anyone who has information about anyone on the website’s list of World War One service personnel not currently recorded on the war memorial is asked to email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass it on to the organisers of the project.
To view the new web pages go online to www.meltonmowbraytownestate.co.uk/roll_of_honour_WW1_on_tablets and www.meltonmowbraytownestate.co.uk/roll_of_honour_WW1_not_in_Memorial_Gardens
l For details on Sunday’s remembrance parade in Melton turn to page 8.