Yeadon War Memorial Project Committee
WANTED: A War Memorial Stone for Yeadon Town
Since 2015 a small group of interested residents of Yeadon (including a local Councillor and members of The British Legion) has been meeting regularly to discuss and plan for the setting up of a more permanent War Memorial for the people of Yeadon, because Yeadon is the only town in our immediate locality which does not have a free-standing War Memorial. At the moment, the only memorial to those from Yeadon who served in the two World Wars are four insignificant-looking plaques attached to the front of Yeadon Town Hall, which list the names of all those from Yeadon who served in World War 1 and World War 2. After much discussion, debate and a great deal of research, the group members have proposed that a memorial stone (similar to the one set up in the neighbouring town of Rawdon - see attached photograph) should be set up on ground in front of Yeadon Methodist Church, which is situated right next to Yeadon Town Hall. This simple block of natural stone will face the Town Hall Square and have a wildflower garden as a backdrop. The stone will bear the inscription: "In remembrance of the men and women of Yeadon who served in two World Wars and in subsequent conflicts, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice". The area leading up to the stone will be prepared to ensure that the memorial is accessible to all, including wheelchair users, and that the access will be safe.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
The cost of setting up the Memorial Stone and improving the access to it could amount to £16,000. Local businesses and groups have been approached to help with funding for this project, and to date a generous grant from local Councillors and several donations from individuals, businesses and interested local groups means that the special fund which has been set up has to date raised over £2,700 towards the project. A grant of £500 from Grassroots Giving would enable the group to fund some of the heritage-type activities we are planning to introduce/produce to raise awareness among local residents of all that has been given by those who have served our community in two World Wars and subsequent conflicts. These activities include:
a) the putting together of two large boxes, one for World War 1 and one for World War 2, containing books (e.g "War Horse" and "Private Peaceful" by Michael Morpurgo); booklets; artefacts (e.g. a gas mask, a Ration Book); patterns and samples for making poppies; copies of War Poems; tapes of wartime songs; photographs and newspaper cuttings etc etc. These boxes will be able to be borrowed by schools (to use with older primary or younger secondary pupils); uniformed groups; other interested groups and also residential homes (to evoke memories from those suffering with dementia).
b) Research, in partnership with Aireborough Historical Society, which has a wonderful archive room in Yeadon Town Hall, to try to discover the stories behind some of the names listed on the plaques in front of the Town Hall.
c) a challenge put together by the leaders of Girlguiding Yeadon District to encourage the girls in their Units to learn more about the wars and some of those from our local community who were involved. The challenge is to be launched at the beginning of September 2018, and any girl who completes all sections of the challenge will be awarded a specially designed badge.
Through these and other activities we hope to benefit young and old, especially this year which marks 100 years since the ending of World War 1, but also in years to come.
"The setting up of a more prominent memorial to the men and women of Yeadon who have served in two World Wars and in subsequent conflicts would turn a long-held dream into a reality.
Marjorie Emsley (Group Chairman)"
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