It was recently reported that the local authority intended to erect a memorial plaque to the memory of an Ashington man (News Post Leader, August 8) who had emigrated to Canada in the early part of the 20th century.
On the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, he joined the Canadian Army and subsequently in 1916 found himself embroiled in the battle of the Somme in Northern France, where he served with great distinction and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery.
However, there was no mention as to where the plaque was to be situated.
The present situation of the Ashington War Memorial, in my opinion, is totally and inappropriately wrong (how many people know where it is?)
For several reasons, which I will not mention but which I am sure are obvious to many, and is, therefore, in effect a slight on the names of the men of Ashington who made the supreme sacrifice.
May I suggest to the council that the Jackie Milburn statue be relocated to a prominent position, preferably in the grounds of the £20m sports centre presently under construction.
I am sure ‘Wor Jackie’ himself would agree that it would be a more fitting situation for his statue.
I would hasten to add that I have the highest regard for Jackie Milburn, who was one of my boyhood heroes, a great footballer and a true gentleman in every respect.
The re-siting of this statue would leave a fitting site for the memorial and plaque to be erected in Ashington’s main street to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice the men of Ashington made for peace for all to view and remember.
However, in nearby Newbiggin-by-the-Sea (my home town), a very different situation exists.
There is a magnificent memorial park perfectly situated in the centre of the town, which I may say is kept in pristine condition by our local council, but, alas, there is no roll of honour plaque, no names whatsoever of the men from Newbiggin who made the supreme sacrifice in two world wars, which, in effect, makes it a blank canvas and incomplete.
I have been informed, unofficially, that 32 men from Newbiggin died at the battle of the Somme alone, and I have a list of 50 who died in the Second World War.
A few years ago when the park was commemorated, the Duke of Kent and other British Legion dignitaries attended, I had hoped that this shortcoming would have been focused on and plans to rectify it put under way. But so far nothing has been done.
So I am afraid the Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Memorial Park will remain a blank canvas and unfinished until a roll of honour plaque has been installed, thus honouring our brave men who gave their lives.