Memorials unveiled to honour Gainsborough war heroes

Local historian and author Peter Bradshaw and Gainsborough Heritage Centre Chairman Andrew Birkitt.
Local historian and author Peter Bradshaw and Gainsborough Heritage Centre Chairman Andrew Birkitt.

A new war memorial has been unveiled in Gainsborough dedicated to 556 men who gave their lives in World War One.

Family members of the fallen watched as historian and author, Peter Bradshaw, revealed the memorial at the Gainsbororough Heritage Centre.

Visitors included Charles and Margaret Hewitt.

Visitors included Charles and Margaret Hewitt.

The event on Saturday, November 3, also included the launch of Peter ’s final book in the series of ‘Gainsborough’s War Story’ with funds raised going to the Friends of the General Cemetery.

Over the years, the group have maintained and raised funds for new headstones for Gainsborough’s war heroes buried in the Gainsborough cemetery.

Andrew Birkitt, chairman of the Gainsborough Heritage Association, said: “We were so pleased to see so many people visit and take part in the commemorations.

“A big thank you to everyone who has supported this fantastic project over the years.

Peter Bradshaw with his latest book

Peter Bradshaw with his latest book

“The memorial is the first in the town that records all of the names of our brave soldiers who were killed in World War One.

“We welcome the community to visit the Heritage Centre and see the War Memorial for yourself.”

Later on in the day another World War One Memorial was unveiled at the Melrose Social Club. The memorial was originally unveiled in 1921 by Major Marshall and has now returned to the building it was originally made for.

The memorial contains the names of 30 members and sons of members of the Gainsborough Constitutional Club who died in the war. The Melrose Social Club was bought by its members some years ago and it was agreed that the plaque can be re-erected to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

The new permanent memorial at Gainsborough Heritage Centre.

The new permanent memorial at Gainsborough Heritage Centre.

The memorial was saved and has been part of the collection of the Gainsborough and District Heritage Association for many years.

Andrew said: “The plaques have been at the Centre almost as long as we have been running. They were discovered in the cellar of the main club on Heaton Street and they have since been displayed on many an occasion throughout various exhibitions. It seems only fitting in this anniversary year that the plaque be re-erected in one of the clubs that the men and their families attended, so they may continue to be remembered.”

The great granddaughter of Lt Cpl E Button is pictured with the Melrose Road Memorial.

The great granddaughter of Lt Cpl E Button is pictured with the Melrose Road Memorial.