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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 of improvement.

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.

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The Plan

 

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 donations.

 

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 today’s conflicts.

 

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 costs.

 

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 Burns.

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

Nearly There!

 

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 pleasing.

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 costs.                                                                                        

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 customers.

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!

 

LATEST NEWS

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.