Posts Tagged ‘memorial’

War memorial has fake names after error

February 22nd, 2016

The memorial has 350 names inscribed on it - 238 from World War One, 106 from World War Two, two from the Northern Ireland troubles and four from the Falklands War. Initially there were thought to be eleven errors but now it’s feared the true figure could be ten times higher.

The memorial has 350 names inscribed on it – 238 from World War One, 106 from World War Two, two from the Northern Ireland troubles and four from the Falklands War.

There are two lists of the fallen soldiers from the area – one in the library, the other on the main memorial in Priory Park.

Ann Hicks, who runs the Cornwall Family History Society, said “It is hugely disrespectful.

“Residents have been paying their respects to people who in some cases done exist, and not honouring others because they are not listed on the memorial.

“I believe the errors originated when the names were transferred from the library to the main memorial, possibly by dictating them on to a tape recorder, and consequently names were spelled incorrectly and others were left out.”

Chris Wickett’s grandfather Christopher Frederick Ellis was killed in World War Two while fighting in Italy but he is not named on the memorial.

Mr Wickett obtained an official list from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission of casualties with a connection to Bodmin.

He said “I expect the missing names to total more than 100.

“I’m glad the council has agreed to investigate. This has been the case for so many years now, and something needs to be done about it.”

The council admits it will take months to sort out but has promised to ensure all the right names are now added.

It has received an estimate of £3,200 to produce corrected plaques but, before that goes ahead, a working party of councillors has been set up to investigate whether more names are missing.

Mayor Lance Kennedy said “It’s a hugely complicated process which is going to take the working party a considerable time to research, but we must get it right, there is absolutely no question about that.”

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Wiltshire Army town builds war memorial without names of dead ‘for fear of getting spellings wrong’

November 9th, 2015

The town’s mayor, Cllr Chris Franklin, said: “The memorial committee’s decision to omit the names seems to be purely based on it being too much of a risk.

“The war memorial must have the names of those people born and bred in Tidworth who went to war and never came home. The memorial is putting right a glaring omission. It is about our boys who gave their lives in battle.”

“The normal saying is, ‘when you go home tell them of us and say: for your tomorrow we gave our today. The clue there is ‘tell them of us’ – if there’s no names they can’t tell us”

Cllr Chris Franklin

Town councillor Andrew Connelly said: “Put the names of our war heroes on it – they should be remembered by name.

“The people for whom it has been erected will now never be remembered. That defeats the whole purpose of the memorial. I am absolutely furious.”

Daz Stephenson, a member of the committee, said “We’ve done an awful lot of work looking into the names, however there’s a lot of obscurity and we don’t want to get it wrong.

“We would prefer to hand over the memorial next year and leave it up to the town council to do that research and make the decision to put the names on or not.”

Gallery: Moving war memorials around the world
Anti-Tory protesters deface war monument on Whitehall

But Cllr Franklin said: “Quite a bit of research has already been done and adding the names later would be a bit of a damp squib.

“We’re coming up to Remembrance and the normal saying is, ‘when you go home tell them of us and say: for your tomorrow we gave our today.

“The clue there is ‘tell them of us’ – if there’s no names they can’t tell us.”

World War Two

Australia’s Aboriginal war heroes ‘finally’ recognised by memorial sculpture

March 31st, 2015

Full-blooded Aborigines were allowed to enlist from World War II, and Aborigines were given the right to vote federally in 1962 and in all states by 1965.

Full-blooded Aborigines were allowed to enlist from World War II (EPA)

Aboriginal groups have long campaigned for proper recognition of their service.

“One way to get this recognition was to advocate for a memorial and the bullets are a great idea,” Ray Minniecon, from the Coloured Diggers movement, told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

“On the battlefield, bullets don’t discriminate; they kill black people or white people, so when it came to war, all of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and woman were treated as equals.

“However, when our men and women came home to their various states they weren’t given any recognition. They had to come back and fight another battle, but this time against racism.”

The bullets and shells were inspired by the story of Mr Albert’s grandfather, who was one of four soldiers to survive an encounter with Italian forces. Three soldiers died in the battle.

The bullets and shells were inspired by the story of Mr Albert’s grandfather (EPA)

“These are stories that are not written into history; they aren’t represented in our institutions,” Mr Albert told Fairfax Media.

“It’s long overdue. It’s confronting. It might ruffle a few feathers but they are feathers that need to be ruffled.”

“Aunty” Jenny Beale, whose father fought in World War II, said: “It’s taken such time to get here. My dad would have been 104 this year and here I am finally standing at a monument, finally to recognise what he contributed to this country.”

World War Two

Last surviving Dambusters pilot sells gallantry medals for upkeep of Bomber Command Memorial

March 2nd, 2015

The 95-year-old visited the monument in London’s Green Park in 2013 and said he was inspired to make the sacrifice “out of comradeship” to his fellow servicemen who did not made it back.

Sq Ldr Munro said it was important for the memorial to maintain its condition for the relatives of the thousands of men listed on it and future generations.

The monument was built 67 years after the end of the war to commemorate the RAF aircrew and groundstaff from Britain and Commonwealth countries who died on bombing operations in the war.

The charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund, has the duty to pay for its maintenance and upkeep at a cost of £50,000 a year.

Out of the 19 commanding officers who flew on the famous 1943 raid to destroy three dams in Germany’s industrial heartland, Sq Ldr Munro is the last one alive today.

Eight them were killed during the mission, making up the total of 53 out of 133 crew killed.

Despite the losses, the raid – codenamed Operation Chastise – was a success with two dams breached by Dr Barnes Wallis’ ingenious bouncing bombs, wiping out scores of armament factories in the Ruhr Valley.

Sq Ldr Munro’s Lancaster bomber was struck by an anti-aircraft flak shell on the raid over Holland, knocking a gaping hole in the fuselage and putting all communications out of use, forcing the crew to turn back still carrying its mine.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for the raid. Sq Ldr Guy Gibson, who led the mission, received the Victoria Cross.

Sq Ldr Munro was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery shown during 58 sorties over Europe.

Squadron Leader Les Munro in the cockpit of a Lancaster (BNPS)

Serving with 97 and then 617 Squadron, he bombed German aircraft and armament factories, V1, V2 and V3 rocket sites, E and U-Boats pens and tunnels all over Europe.

On the eve of D Day in 1944, he dropped aluminium strips in the English Channel to trick German radar operators into thinking the invasion was taking place at Calais rather than Normandy to the south.

The £50,000 expected from the sale of his medals and log books will be enough to pay for the maintenance of the memorial for a whole year.

Sq Ldr Munro, from New Zealand, said: “The memorial is a magnificent tribute to Bomber Command’s fallen. It was a travesty it took 67 years before the loss of 55,573 lives was finally recognised.

“My reasons for donating my medals and flying log books to the fund were prompted by my visit. I could not help but think of the cost of its ongoing maintenance and with the feelings of the descendants of those 55,573 in mind believe that every effort be made to maintain the memorial in the best possible condition.

Squadron Leader Munro’s medals (BNPS)

He added: “My war service moulded me as a man; it gave me the confidence in my own ability and taught me to get on with my fellow men and value comradeship.

“It is because of that sense of comradeship and the equal importance of the act of remembrance that I now part company with my medals for the benefit of the Bomber Command Memorial.”

Mike Neville, director of strategy and fundraising at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “We are enormously grateful to Les for his donation. It was very much his decision and he approached us with it.

“Les will consider it a small sacrifice compared to the sacrifice made by thousands of his comrades in the war but to us it really is a big one because the proceeds of the sale should pay for a whole year’s maintenance.”

The medals, which also include the New Zealand Order of Merit, are to be sold by London auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb.

Christopher Hill, a director at the auction house, said: “Les Munro is a remarkable man whose spirit of adventure has never left him.

“It is entirely typical of him that he is selling his medals, log books and other memorabilia to help ensure that the memory of his dead comrades will never fade.”

Les Munro (centre front) with crew before flying on Dambusters raid (Dix Noonan Webb/BNPS)

Sq Ldr Munro’s father was Scottish and emigrated to New Zealand in 1903 and became a shepherd. He joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1941 and arrived in Britain the following year, flying with the 97 Squadron.

He was the captain for bombing raids on aircraft and armament factories in Berlin, Essen, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Milan and Turin.

In 1943, he volunteered for the 617 “Dambusters” Squadron and was reportedly chosen by Guy Gibson to take part in the dams raid.

Sq Ldr Munro learned to fly Lancaster bombers at below tree-top height at 200mph in preparation for the raid.

On one such flight over Lincolnshire, he was nearly killed when a seagull hit his cockpit windscreen “like a cannonball” and landed between him and his co-pilot.

He went on to practice for the mission over Derwent Water in the Lake District and the Fleet at Chesil Beach.

Two days after the Allied invasion of Europe, Sq Ldr Munro dropped the first “Tallboy” 12,000lbs bomb on a tunnel in southern France that enemy Panzer tanks were using to reinforce Germany army in Normandy.

The RAF’s Dambusters squadron in action during the Second World War

He then led successful raids to wipe out E-boat and U-boat pens in Le Havre and Boulogne, successful missions that helped the Allied take control of Normandy and France.

After the war he returned to New Zealand, studied agriculture and worked for the State Advances Corporation which managed state-owned farms.

He got into local politics and served as mayor of Waitomo, a town on the northern island of New Zealand. He was appointed to the Queen’s Service Order (Q.S.O.) in 1991.

The men of Bomber Command suffered huge losses in the Second World War, with 45 out of every 100 airmen killed.

A permanent memorial for Bomber Command was not built for 67 years due to the controversy of thousands of German civilians who died during the bombings of its cities.

Painting of Lancaster bombers from the RAF’s No 617 Squadron attacking Moehne dam, Germany (PA)

In 2010, German politicians called for plans for the memorial to be abandoned out of respect for the civilian casualties.

Sq Ldr Munro said: “I consider myself a fortunate survivor, ‘Lady Luck’ having sat on my shoulder on several occasions. Yet I think that I left New Zealand on the basic premise that if I was going to cop it, so be it. What will be, will be.

“When fellow officers that I knew relatively well were lost on operations I would feel a brief period of sadness but that had to be quickly relegated to the background of my thoughts.

“There was a job to do and the loss of a colleague could not be allowed to influence how I carried out that job. My duty was to carry out the next operation without emotional distraction. Grief could not be allowed to distract from duty.”

Sq Ldr Munro’s medals are being sold in London on March 25.

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World War Two

Holocaust Memorial Day: How Auschwitz was remembered

January 27th, 2015

Remembering the horror of Auschwitz 70 years on

Participants also included the presidents of Germany and Austria, the perpetrator nations that have spent decades atoning for their sins, as well as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, a sign of Poland’s strong support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

Auschwitz survivor Halina Birenbaum sounded a warning to all present, saying: “If nobody stops it, this Auschwitz Birkenau evil, it lingers and its re-born into growing terror, in anti-semitism and racism.”

Another survivor, Roman Kent, became emotional as he issued a plea to world leaders to remember the atrocities and fight for tolerance.

“We do not want our past to be our children’s future,” he said to applause, fighting back tears.

And president of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder warned of a new wave of anti-semitism, saying: “Jews are targeted in Europe once again because they are Jews.”

Holocaust survivors recall life in death camps

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Holocaust Memorial Day: remembering the horror of Auschwitz 70 years on

January 26th, 2015

The site was also the death place for many people who did not fit into the Nazis’ view of their world. Poles, lesbians, homosexuals and the disabled were amongst those also killed here.

Over one and a half million people were killed at Auschwitz, including women and children

The infamous sign, made by a prisoner, was erected by the Nazis after the Auschwitz barracks were converted into a labour camp to house Polish resistance fighters in 1940. Auschwitz was later expanded into a vast death camp

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Munich ban on Holocaust memorial plaques ‘may be overturned’

January 21st, 2015

The scheme, started in 1996 by a German sculptor, has spread across Europe and there are now 50,000 stumbling stones in more than 1,000 cities from France to Russia, prompting claims it is the largest memorial in the world.

Now that ban may be on the verge of being overturned, according to a report on The Local website.

A new mayor elected last year, Dieter Reiter, is in favour of allowing the stumbling stones, and a local initiative to bring the memorials to Munich led by Terry Swartzberg, an American Jew living in the city, believes it has enough votes on the city council to have the ban reversed.

Opposition to the stumbling stones in Munich has come from an unexpected quarter: the elected leader of the city’s 4,000-member Jewish community, 82-year-old Charlotte Knobloch, herself a Holocaust survivor.

“People murdered in the Holocaust deserve better than a plaque in the dust, street dirt and even worse filth,” she said in a statement.

But support for the stumbling stones appears to be growing in Munich, with other Jewish residents and Holocaust survivors coming forward to say they want the memorials.

Gunter Demnig, the sculptor behind the stumbling stones, said he got the idea when he heard an elderly German woman at the unveiling of another memorial deny any Holocast victims had lived in the area.

“I called them stumbling stones because it would make people who came across them pause from their everyday lives and remember that an individual killed by the Nazis once lived at that address,” he said.

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Lancaster and Vulcan bombers fly over new WW2 memorial site

August 22nd, 2014

A flypast by the last two airworthy Lancasters and the last flying Vulcan bomber took place in Lincolnshire.

The event was to mark the first turf-cutting of the new memorial centre at Canwick Hill, which will tell the stories of those involved in the conflict.

The Lincolnshire flypast was a poignant moment for all of those who attended as, during the Second World War, it was home to thousands of crew from Bomber Command.

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Remaining flying Lancaster bombers reunited for memorial flight

August 15th, 2014

A Canadian- based Lancaster Bomber joined a Lancaster from the Royal Air Force to fly in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

The flight, which was due to pass over Lincoln Cathedral with the Red Arrows, was cancelled, due to bad weather.

The event was due to reunite the two remaining flying examples of the Second World War plane for the first time since the 1960s.

These aircraft are the only airworthy examples in the world and this will be the first time since the 1960s that they have flown together.

They will be displayed together at events up and down the country before the Canadian Lancaster flies home.

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