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Ainsdale War Memorial
Post-WW2 Heroes Added To Ainsdale War Memorial In Restoration Plan
Now almost a century old, the monument was purchased through public subscription
and erected in 1920 to honour those men from Ainsdale who gave their lives in the
service of their country during World War One. But time and the elements took their
toll. The lettering had become almost illegible in places and some of the foundation
stones required attention. The path leading from the main road was really in need
Ainsdale Civic Society returned to the public of Ainsdale to raise funds to refurbish
and update the Memorial. And in the spirit of their forebears, the people have made
it possible to restore the dignity of the village tribute, and to add to it the names
of those heroes who have been killed in the Second World War, and later conflicts.
Truly a Community Project which shows that though they may not be with us, the fallen
are not forgotten.
May 2014 - Job Done!
A True Community Project
The final phase of the War Memorial restoration has been completed.
This culminates more than two years of research, fundraising and negotiations to
bring the Ainsdale War Memorial back to its former glory.
Whilst the memorial was originally established to commemorate those lost during the
First World War, it also contained a general dedication to those who fell during
World War Two. We felt that it was only right that the names of these men who paid
the ultimate price should also be shown on the monument and so, after consultation
with Sefton Council and the other appropriate people, we researched all we could
to find those who had been missed. After a lot of searching and advertising in the
local press, we identified 28 names from WW2 and found 7 more names from WW1 which
had been omitted. We also decided that we should include other conflicts since WW2,and,
thankfully, we have only had one casualty since then: Cpl. Mike Gilyeat of the Royal
Military Police who died in Afghanistan. All the names were submitted to Sefton
Council for their approval and they have confirmed that all are acceptable. The additional
names were added just prior to the Remembrance Day Service last year.
We were also aware that some personnel from RAF Woodvale and HMS Queen Charlotte
were also killed on active service whilst based in Ainsdale and whilst they were
not actually Ainsdale men, we felt that some recognition of their sacrifice should also
be made and so we have commissioned an additional plaque to remember them. We were
delighted when Jackie and Andrew Phillips of ‘The Arion’ offered to raise the funds
to pay for this plaque and, thanks to their generosity and that of their customers,
this plaque is now in place.
If you would like to send us a message, please click on the quill, and we will take
you to our feedback form.
The refurbishment of the War Memorial is being done in three stages; the first was
completed in 2012. The lettering had become almost illegible in places and some of
the foundation stones required attention; work on this stage was completed in time
for the Remembrance Service in November 2012.
The second stage is now (April 2013) well underway. This is the addition of names
of those men and women from Ainsdale who gave their lives in military conflict during
World War 2 and subsequent military conflicts such as Korea, Aden, N. Ireland, The
Falklands, the Gulf and the many others up to and including today’s conflicts. The
names have been submitted to Sefton Council for approval and this has now been granted.
The Society is in discussion with local stonemasons, Weatherby’s, about this work
and it is hoped that this will be started shortly.
The final stage will be the replacement of the flagstones around the monument and
the coping stones on the wall and hopefully, replacing the tarmac path leading up
to the monument with paving.
Of course all this work does not come cheap and the Ainsdale Civic Society have
therefore started a War Memorial Restoration Fund and we hope that local people will
support our endeavours by donating to this most worthwhile cause and make this a
truly community project.
Southport Lions Donate £250 To Memorial Project
The Members of the Southport Lions Club have shown their support for our proposed
refurbishment of the Ainsdale War Memorial with a donation of £250 towards the costs.
The cheque was presented to our Chairman, Tony Brough, left, on 10th May 2012 by
the President of Southport Lions Club, Ray Roukin, right, when they met by the memorial
recently. Also present were Joan Major, Secretary of Ainsdale Civic Society, left,
and well-known local author Iris Whitaker, right.
Tony explained to Ray the reason why this work was necessary and exactly what we
hope to do. Ray stated that he felt this was a very worthwhile project and stated
that the Lions Club would be happy to place a collection box in their Ainsdale shop
to further help with donations and he wished us well with our endeavours.
Generous Donations To Our Memorial Project
Our Memorial Restoration Fund received a boost recently when we received two significant
The first was from Society member Sylvia Wentworth, who undertook a Coast-to-Coast
cycle ride on her own from Morecambe to Bridlington to raise funds. As a result of
sponsorship, she raised a total of £335.
A most generous donation of £500 has also been received from Royal Air Force Woodvale.
The memorial restoration would not just be to return the tribute to its former glory,
however. As part of the refurbishment, the Ainsdale Civic Society would like to add
to the memorial the names of those men and women from Ainsdale who gave their lives
in action during World War Two and subsequent military conflicts such as Korea, Aden,
Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, the Gulf, and the many others up to and including
If any member of your family from Ainsdale was lost during a military conflict or
you know of someone who was, the Ainsdale Civic Society would like to know. We are
appealing for relatives and friends of World War Two victims from the area to come
forward, so their names can be added.
For details about the work, or donating to the project, please contact us. Click
on the scroll, to the left, to send us a confidential message.
Arion Serves Up A Delight!
The Ainsdale Civic Society’s War Memorial Fund received a huge boost in April 2013
when they received a donation from the Arion Pub in Ainsdale. Jackie and Any Phillips
recently became Region Winners of the Enterprise Community Hero Award for their outstanding
contribution to the local community, and they decided that a portion of the prize
money would be donated to help with the restoration of the War Memorial.
They have also donated the profits from their Tuesday evening Quiz Nights, and made
a total donation of £750 towards the Fund.
Jackie Phillips said that they felt this was such a worthwhile cause, and they were
glad to know that the money would be used locally, and that they would be able to
see what the money was being spent on. They hope that they will be able to make
further contributions in the future.
Tony Brough, Chairman of Ainsdale Civic Society, said “This is a fantastically generous
gift and is the largest single donation we have received to date.”
The photograph shows, from left to right, Jackie Phillips, ACS Secretary Joan Major,
ACS Chairman Tony Brough, Any Phillips, and ACS member Iris Whitaker
Southport Lions Donate £250 More To Memorial Project
The Members of the Southport Lions Club have shown their support for our project
to refurbish the Ainsdale War Memorial with a second donation of £250 towards the
The cheque was presented to our Chairman, Tony Brough at the April 2013 meeting of
the Ainsdale Civic Society by the Vice President of Southport Lions Club, Yvonne
Progress Towards Restoration
We have been advised by the War Memorial Trust that we are to receive a grant towards
to restoration of the existing lettering on the memorial and this work is currently
being undertaken by Weatherby’s of Ainsdale. Weather permitting; the work will be
completed in time for this year’s Remembrance Day Service on 11th November 2012.
Tony Brough, our Chairman said “The other stages of the renovation are due to be
started next year and it is hoped that all the work will be completed by 2014 which
is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. War memorials were, and still
are, erected by communities to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice
and it is gratifying to find that the local community still care enough to donate
funds to undertake this work.”
November 2013 - War Memorial Updated
Names Of Those Fallen Since WWII Added To War Memorial
Part of the plan to refurbish and update the Ainsdale War Memorial has been to add
to it the names of those local men and women who have given their lives in the various
conflicts since the end of World War II.
This has now been done, and we are pleased to report that it has been done in time
for the Remembrance Day service on 10th November 2013.
The photos below show the work which has been done.
April 2014 - The Final Phase
The final part of the project is to replace the flagstones around the monument, the
coping stones on the wall and to replace the tarmac path with something more aesthetically
Of course all this work did not come cheap and whilst we have committed several thousands
of pounds from our reserves, we knew we could not do it alone; we therefore started
a War Memorial Restoration Fund. We were delighted to receive many generous donations
from local residents and lots of local businesses such as Pontins, Southport Lions
Club, Chapelhouse, Dolce Vita Restaurant, Howards DIY, RAF Woodvale, and we also
heard from past residents who now live far away, but the news of our efforts had
reached them and, because of their fond memories of childhood times on The Green,
gave generously to our fund. Sefton Council have also given us a grant towards the
The largest donation towards the fund has come from ‘The Arion’ pub from profits
from their quiz nights, some of their awards prize money and donations from their
This has been a true community effort and without your help, we could not have completed
the biggest project we have ever undertaken. So we thank every person who has sent
us a donation, dropped their loose change into one of our collection boxes, those
who donated anonymously and those who undertook fund raising on our behalf.
Thank you all.
AINSDALE WAR MEMORIAL
A few years ago the Civic Society produced a book giving details of the people named
on our War Memorial.
Because of the new names on the memorial, it was decided that the book needed to
be updated to include the details of those men recently added to the memorial and
the revised edition has now been published and is on sale for the very reasonable
cost of £3.
Make sure you have your hankies ready when you read it – it is very emotive!
War Memorial Re-Dedication Service - Sunday 19th October 2014
Following the completion of the Ainsdale War Memorial refurbishment, several hundred
residents joined us on a beautiful, unseasonally warm, autumn day on the Village
Green for a Service to dedicate the new names on the memorial.
The Service was conducted by the Rev. Peter Todd, representing the Churches Together
in Ainsdale, who re-dedicated the memorial before the 36 new names were read out
by members of the Ainsdale Civic Society. It was followed by the laying of a cross
by the Royal British Legion. A cross of poppies was laid on behalf of the Society
by Jacki and Andy Phillips of the Arion who raised a significant amount of money
towards the memorial and more crosses and wreaths were laid by representatives of
other organisations including Sefton Council, SSAFA, RNA and RAF Woodvale.
Other members of the Society played a part in the Service. Following the two minutes
silence, the poem “Taking a Stand” by John Bailey was read by Terry Durrance, and
children from the local youth groups came forward to lay a hundred white roses on
the memorial – a truly touching moment.
Music was provided by John Dempsey and his friends and they were accompanied by members
of St John’s choir who came to join us. Merseyside Police kindly provided officers
to stop the traffic during the two minutes silence. The Exhortation from “For the
Fallen” was spoken by Alan Carter and the Kohima Epitaph was spoken by a representative
of the Royal British Legion.
Tony Brough, Chairman of Ainsdale Civic Society said “The community of Ainsdale has
contributed in great measure to enabling the refurbishment of our War Memorial. Your
enthusiasm and encouragement is truly appreciated and provided us with the momentum
to complete the project in this year. This has been a long project which could not
have been completed without the support of the local community and it was wonderful
that so many Ainsdale residents have turned out on this lovely morning to pay homage
to those named on the monument. This Service provides a fitting opportunity for each
to demonstrate their personal acknowledgement of the sacrifice made by those whose
names will now be properly recorded in perpetuity on the refurbished Memorial.”
The Service concluded with a rousing rendition of “Pack up your Troubles” followed
by the National Anthem.