Campaign launched to honour Crystal Palace war heroes

Robert Gibson wants to honour the area's war heroes.

Residents gather at the memorial

First published in News
Last updated
Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A campaign has been launched to honour Crystal Palace’s war heroes with a new memorial plaque.

It is 100 years since the start of the First World War this year and a number of events are taking place throughout the year to remember those who fought in both wars.

In Crystal Palace there is already a war memorial in Westow Street but residents want to add the names of their war heroes.

Robert Gibson, who is spearheading the campaign has already asked the council if the names could be added to the memorial.

But this was rejected by the council as the memorial, which was dedicated in 1922, is too brittle to inscribe names or add a new plaque.

Mr Gibson, has now called on the council to help create a new memorial next to the current one.

The original inscription on the memorial was dedicated to the men of Upper Norwood who gave their lives in the Great War. A new inscription was then added at a later date to commemorate those who died in the Second World War.

Members of the Crystal Palace Foundation group have since collated a list of more than a hundred names of those who fought in both wars from the Upper Norwood, Crystal Palace and Anerley areas.

Some of their research has found 11 men in Queen Mary Road, seven men in Moffat Road, ten men in St Hugh’s Road and six men in Woodland Road died during the First World War.

It is estimated that a majority of them died on July 1 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme which saw 19,240 British deaths in one day.

Mr Gibson said: "It would be good to look at new ways that the sacrifice of those of Upper Norwood and Crystal Palace who fought and died for their country could be commemorated.

"It would be nice to have a new memorial wall or a plaque in the Upper Norwood Library. It is the small personal histories behind the names on our nation’s memorials that bring home the horrendous cost that these soldiers paid for us."

Councillor Pat Ryan added: "The memorial is probably too small for all the names but a granite stone either side would be fitting.

"These people gave their lives for their country and they should be noticed. This is an opportunity for the council to go a step further and improve the memorial."

 

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