New war memorial ready to be installed in Willenhall

A memorial to servicemen and women who have lost their lives since 1945 is set to be installed at Lane Head, Short Heath, in preparation for an official dedication on October 3.

Members of Short Heath Lest We Forget CIC at the memorial at the junction of Hayley Street and Straight Road, Lane Head
Members of Short Heath Lest We Forget CIC at the memorial at the junction of Hayley Street and Straight Road, Lane Head

The Short Heath Lest We Forget Community Interest Company is responsible for the project designed to pay tribute to those who have died in service since the Second World War.

Stone for the memorial was sourced from South Africa and matches the existing one for those serving during the Second World War.

Those whose names are already on the new memorial include service personnel killed in Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands John Crabtree and the Mayor of Walsall councillor Rose Burley are to attend the dedication service.

An area around the memorial, from Lane Head to Haley Street, will be closed off from 10.15am to 11.30am during the dedication which will include two minutes silence at 11am and formal wreath-laying. Members of the public will also be given the opportunity to lay tributes.

John Elwell, Martin Washbrook, Robert Baker and Stephen Jackson with the memorial

John Elwell, one of four directors of the Community Interest Company, said: "We are all really delighted to see this project through to fulfilment.

"We realised there was a memorial for servicemen and women who died in the First and Second World Wars but not for those who have given their lives in service since those times.

"We managed to raise funding and we have now had the Second World War memorial repositioned so that the new one can be installed.

"It has been made from exactly the same material and the stone-mason managed to source this from South Africa.

"There will be representatives from West Midlands Police, the Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service present at the dedication."

The Short Heath Lest We Forget Community Interest Company is also planning to treat 70 military veterans to a Christmas lunch at Ye Olde Toll House at Willenhall on December 6.

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