Wednesday, 9 November 2016

New memorials for those of the Great War.......... stories behind the book nu 27 William Eric Lunt, and a new Railway Roll of Honour

An occasional series on the stories behind the new book on Manchester and the Great War*

Now I have been thinking of just how we remember those who took part in that conflict which is a century away from us.

This is particularly relevant as we head towards centenary of the Somme and the book on Manchester and the Great War is just about to go down to the publishers.

During the last two and bit years there have been events and programmes as well as documentaries and films devoted to the war and amongst them has been a renewed interest in the war memorials and the Rolls of Honour of the men and women who took part.

Sadly the passage of a century has not been kind to some of them.  A fair few have been neglected, some lost and others stolen for their scrap value.

But as the centenaries roll on many more have been restored and taken pride of place in both public places and in chirches and workplaces.

Recently Manchester City Council chose to name a road in Chorlton after William Eric Lunt who was born on Sandy Lane. He had enlisted on September 5 1915 was wounded and died two days later of his wounds.

It is a small but touching memorial to a young man who had faded into the shadows.

Even more recently a memorial to the men of the London Road Goods Depot was unveiled at Piccadilly Railway Station. The original had been dedicated “TO THE MEMORY OF OUR COMRADES WHO SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY DURING THE EUROPEAN WAR AND AS A TRIBUTE TO THE 580 MEN WHO SERVED.”

It stood on London Road but was lost during the alterations to the railway station in the early 1960s but through the research of Mr Wayne McDonald and Mr Andy Partington and with the support of Virgin Trains and the Railway Heritage Trust a new memorial has been made and now stands on platform 10/11 at Piccadilly Railway Station.

Amongst those present at the unveiling were family members of some of the men who appear on the memorial including two who discovered that they shared a relative on the monument.

For those two women and for many others the passing of a century has done nothing to break the link with those who served.

That link takes many forms.  For some it will have led them to trace their family member through the official records, perhaps even visiting the battlefields and writing their individual stories.  For others it will be in discovering a long forgotten photograph, a collection of letters or even an item of a uniform.

Over the next few weeks I want to explore some of the other memorials ranging from the grand down to the very private.

And some of those monuments will be supplied by David Harrop who today was out on Piccadilly Railway Station and kindly sent these images over.

Location; Manchester

Pictures; memorial on Piccadilly Railway Station, 2016 from the collection of David Harrop

*A new book on Manchester and the Great War

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