A short article in the Midlothian Advertiser this week has prompted me to publish this entry today.
The headline reads “War Memorial wrangles continues” and states that hopes of adding names to the (Newtongrange) war memorial in time for Remembrance Sunday have been dashed.
I would like to clarify my position and a brief summary of events.
I approached Newtongrange Community Council in April, 2012 with a provisional number of names I wished added to the war memorial, I subsequently submitted a number of documents to them, which I later combined into a booklet for submission to the Council with a view to having the names of 12 men, 1 WW1 and 11 WW2, added for last year’s Remembrance Day.
I subsequently queried the lack of action on this matter by both the Community Council and Midlothian, at the request of the Community Council I resubmitted the booklet containing all the evidence and waited…and waited.
I was aware that the Council had dismissed a number of men, for reasons that I viewed as invalid, and frankly an insult to men who served and died for their country.
I submitted an FOI request to the Council asking for clarification of matters and passed the results on to the Community Council and what happened, nothing.
Back in September,2013 I was spoken to by the Chairman of the Community Council and informed by him that the CC were not going to be putting forward a number of men’s names forward as they had been killed by accident or after the war, and could I supply the information again.
Regrettably at this point I decided I’d had enough with the run-around and decided with a heavy heart to withdraw my co-operation with the project particularly in view of the omissions and that 12 men now appear to be 3 according to the Community Council.
I will now be going my own way, I am planning to raise funds for a memorial commemorating all the men from Newbattle Parish, not a chosen few.
If need be I will pay for the memorial myself if I have to.
I will remember all 11 of these forgotten men this Remembrance Sunday as will their relatives.
Will you remember them?
L Cpl George Ross, 1st Gordon Highlanders
LAC William Currie, RAF Volunteer Reserve
Acting Leading Stoker Joseph White, Royal Navy
Leading Stores Assistant James Simpson Alexander Dea, Royal Navy
Lt John Herbert, Royal Navy
Engine Artificer 4th Class Barrie Jones, Royal Navy
Sapper James Holgate, Royal Engineers
Able Seaman Malcolm Mclean, Merchant Navy
Sgt William Alexander Meek, RAF Volunteer Reserve
Pte George D Noble, Parachute Regiment 5th Battalion
Trooper Ninian Cockburn Roberts, Royal Scots Greys
Second Engineer John Webster, Merchant Navy