Public ceremony to be held to commemorate 100 years of Hinckley’s War Memorial

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 2 May 2022

ARMED FORCES members, descendants of fallen servicemen, local historians, schoolchildren and civil leaders are to mark 100 years since Hinckley’s War Memorial was dedicated, with a public event inside the Garden of Remembrance on 20 May.

Hinckley’s Garden of Remembrance, Argents Mead (Image: Mason Moore)

They are to attend a short ceremony 100 years to the day that the memorial was first dedicated, on Friday, 20 May at 10.45am. And, members of the public are ‘warmly invited’ to attend the service.

The event is being organised by Ian Walker, a Standard Bearer from the Royal British Legion. Walker is working with local historians and the Borough Council in arranging the event.

A guest book has been created to record attendance for posterity. After the event, the book is to be subsequently placed inside of the District Museum, based on Bond Street, so that it can be used in years to come by future historians.

As a ‘poignant’ nod to history, descendants of some of the bereaved Hinckley mothers who took part in the original foundation stone ceremony are to take part.

Hinckley historian Greg Drozdz had already traced the descendants of three mothers who had each lost three sons in WWI and a fourth descendant has since been traced following a public appeal.

Mr. Drozdz is still appealing for any descendants of Mary Ann Dixon to come forward so they can be invited to take part in this special commemoration to honour their fallen ancestors. Mary Ann Dixon’s family lived in Upper Bond Street before moving to Coventry Road in the town.

Three of her six sons Joseph, Herbert and William Dixon were killed in action in France in 1917 and 1918, leaving three remaining siblings, James, Charles, and George.

Greg Drozdz said: “This is one final push to get this project across the line. We only need one more family to come forward to achieve our aim of replicating events of a hundred years ago.”

In a further echo of the past, local florists are creating a floral tribute representing the three armed services – the RAF, Air Force and Navy – along with a white cross covered in lilies, which is inspired by the floral arrangement created for the original service.

Coun. Danny Findlay, the Borough Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “The memorial is the town’s focal point for loved ones and a place where the community comes together to pay their respects for those servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today.

“We warmly invite everyone, and particularly descendants of the fallen, to join us for this very special ceremony.”

The War Memorial was built on part of Hinckley Castle, initially for those who died during World War one.

Designed by John Alfred Gotch from Gotch and Saunders of Kettering, the memorial is an octagonal ashlar column is on a stepped base, which is surmounted by a bronze statue of a robed angelic figure with both arms outstretched with is the Angel of Mercy.

In November 1951 additional panels were added bearing the names of the people of Hinckley who lost their life during World War II.

In the modern day, the memorial honours everyone from Hinckley who fell in the major wars and conflicts of the twentieth century.

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