Appeal for World War One Stories

Posted on: 21 March 2017

A memorial plaque is planned for a plinth in Rotary Gardens, Pilton next year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

North Devon Council is appealing for people to come forward with stories, pictures or letters back home of any men or women from the Pilton area who served, fought and survived; or of one of the 39 men who lost their lives in the war.

Executive Member responsible for parks, leisure and culture, Councillor Dick Jones says “This is an opportunity for local people to get involved and share memories of the war with the wider community in a lasting memorial to commemorate local heroes who fought for our country.”

Local ward member for Barnstaple Pilton, Councillor Mair Manuel, who has been heavily involved with the project, says “I have been pleased to be involved with this project from its inception.  This will be a public recognition of the sacrifices made, and I hope that any family which suffered will feel able to contribute their story.  The plinth will also be an easily accessible point where people can pay their respects in future years.”

Local ward member for Barnstaple Pilton, Councillor Brian Greenslade says “I welcome this very much. We must never forget the carnage of WW1 and what it meant for so many individuals and their families. My grandfather fought in this conflict in the general area of Ypres. Thankfully he survived and lived until age 84. One experience I treasure is being able to be in Ypres on Armistice Day some while ago and being able to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate during the remembrance event. I am sure many brave people from Pilton also took part in these battles and it is right that “We remember them.”

Martin Haddrill, a volunteer for the project says “Pilton, the original settlement of Barnstaple, has a great sense of history as shown by the success of the heritage archive ‘The Pilton Story’.  Before it is too late, we hope to collect stories of some of the men and women from Pilton who fought in World War I and, in some cases, did not return.   Their stories will be told on the fourth plinth in the centre of Rotary Gardens.”

If anyone has any information they would like to share, please contact the parks department on 01271 388326 or email parks@northdevon.gov.uk

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