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War memorial to be enhanced for centenary commemorations

THE Lyme Regis war memorial will be enhanced in preparation for First World War centenary commemorations in 2018.

Lyme Regis Town Council and the local branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) are working together to amend the memorial in Georges Square.

The project will involve adding five names to the memorial, as well as the rank and service or regiment of the fallen.

The updating of the memorial will be completed ahead of next year’s commemorations, when the nation will mark 100 years since the end of the First World War in 1918.  

The project is the culmination of seven years of research by Lyme Regis RBL members Vernon Rattenbury and David Humphrey into the details of Lyme Regis servicemen who died during both world wars.

The town council, which owns the memorial, has set aside £13,000 to cover the cost of the work.

Lyme Regis RBL chairman Ian Marshall said: “Whilst the RBL do not have a mandate to build or maintain war memorials, we felt so strongly that this omission should be rectified that the British Legion took on the role of project manager with a view to proposing how the new names could be added.”

The RBL formed a small project team to progress the project to add the additional five names.

Mr Marshall said: “It was proposed that the current engraved tablets should be replaced with new ones incorporating the additional names.

“It was also proposed that the names of all those honoured should also have their rank and service displayed as we felt it was historically important to record this additional information to aid future historical research or to allow relatives to better identify those so honoured.”

The existing plaques will be replaced with relief-blasted plaques, which will be installed on the existing memorial structure.

The current format of first name and surname will be replaced with surname, initials, rank and regiment or service.

The town council’s operations manager Matt Adamson-Drage said: “As a recent ex-serviceman myself, it is a subject close to my heart.

“It is unbelievable that these men who gave so much have gone unrecognised for so long.

“Without the efforts of the Lyme Regis RBL, particularly Ian Marshall, David Humphrey, Vernon Rattenbury, Pip Evans and Ken Gollop, it would have remained so and they should be very proud.

“I am privileged to play a small part in getting these men remembered on the memorial.”

The working group, formed specifically to manage the war memorial project and to oversee commemoration events in 2018, has commissioned Axminster stonemason Andy Brooker to create two new grey granite plaques.

Members of the public who have relatives named on the existing memorial, or believe their relatives’ names should be included on the new memorial, are invited to contact the town council to ensure the correct information is held.

Please contact Matt Adamson-Drage on 01297 445175 or operationsmanager@lymeregistowncouncil.gov.uk