After years in the planning, work should start on renovating Congleton’s Cenotaph in Lawton Street, in Spring 2020, so that the town’s Cenotaph can display the names of all the local men and women who have lost their lives through serving their Country.
The vast majority of funds needed for the project have already been raised through grants and pledges, but more is required to do justice to the site and local people are being asked to donate £5 or more towards the £19,000 needed to carve the names onto the new stones.
The current War Memorial in Lawton Street was unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of the County, Brigadier General W. Bromley Davenport in the 1920s. The Town Burgesses decreed that only 236 names should go on the accompanying name panels and people were invited to put their relatives’ names forward for selection. Many people entitled to be included on the war memorial were denied a place.
Now in 2019 a Cenotaph group working alongside the Congleton Partnership and Town Council is looking to add the missing names to an improved Cenotaph. A further 208 names are to be added to the Great War listing, some of which died of their war wounds as late as 1932. A service person killed in an airship disaster in 1923 will also be included.
Originally 107 names were added to the Congleton Cenotaph from World War Two, and a further 21 names from WW2 will be added to the new Cenotaph, as well as the names of one man killed in Korea, one in the Falklands, and one from 2007. Space will be left on the last panel for future use, which hopefully will never be needed.
The 14 panels are being cut from Portland stone, quarried in Dorset. The engraving will be to the standard required by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and each letter costs approximately £2.40 to carve.
Donations can be made via the Tourist Information Centre in the Town Hall. Just pop in and see the friendly staff who will give you a Cenotaph certificate to acknowledge your donation. Alternatively, cheques can be made payable to Congleton Town Council, who are holding a ring-fenced account for the Cenotaph project.