New memorial in Rotary Gardens to remember the fallen

Posted on: 31 August 2018

A new memorial will be unveiled in Rotary Gardens next week, in tribute to the men and women of Pilton who served in World War One.

The memorial remembers the 39 men from the Pilton area who died during the war, the 340 men who served and returned home to Pilton and the many women who served and sustained the war effort. It also remembers a further 19 men having connections to Pilton who died during the war or who died later as a result of their service.

Over the last two years, North Devon Council’s Parks team has been working closely with local history group, The Pilton Story, to gather stories of those who fought and died in the Great War. Some of these stories have been brought to life on a plaque which will sit on a memorial plinth at the centre of Rotary Gardens.

The memorial will be revealed by the Mayor of Barnstaple, Councillor Ian Roome, on Saturday 8 September at 2pm, followed by afternoon tea and refreshments at Pilton Church Hall.

Executive Member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “We hope this plaque will be a fitting memorial to those Pilton men who sacrificed their lives for us in the Great War. This plaque brings to life the stories of some of those brave young men, the photographs and memories from their families are so valuable in terms of history and remembrance. Around the plaque are 39 poppies, one for each of the men.”

Local ward member for Pilton, Councillor Mair Manuel, says: “This project is an excellent example of local organisations, Pilton residents, council officers and district ward members working together. The commemorative plaque will remind us all of their sacrifice in World War One and the debt we owe them still.”

Martin Haddrill from The Pilton Story, says: “In preparing the plaque, The Pilton Story team has glimpsed something of the lives of the men who went to fight for our freedom and of the hardships they suffered in the theatre of war. That glimpse has been achieved through research, particularly using the work of Brian Barrow, and information from the soldiers’ families, contemporary newspaper reports and regimental diaries and documents. Because of limited space the stories on the plaque have been shortened, but the full stories can be found on The Pilton Story archive.”

You can find out more about this project and the history of Pilton on The Pilton Story website www.thepiltonstory.org.

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Posted in: Community | Leisure