‘Forgotten’ victims to be added to Hartlepool war memorials

Hartlepool war memorial in Victory Square.
Hartlepool war memorial in Victory Square.

Several ‘forgotten’ victims of war are set to be added to Hartlepool’s war memorials in a new council project.

Hartlepool Borough Council plans to appeal to trace details of any servicemen and civilian casualties of conflicts since the First World War and have been missed off from town monuments.

It would help to resolve the issue of relatives feeling a sense of injustice

Damien Wilson, council officer

The council says it knows of three military cases and up to 20 other civilian deaths that would be strong candidates for inclusion.

But the authority expects that number to increase significantly if it was to proceed with the new scheme, which will be discussed by councillors later this week.

The council says it has been made aware of people who have not been included in the main memorials in Victory Square and in Redheugh Gardens, on the Headland, when people research their family’s history.

A report prepared by Damien Wilson, the council’s assistant director for regeneration, states: “It is proposed that the council works with descendents and communities to identify the true number of eligible individuals omitted, and then undertakes a scheme to recognise these individuals by physically adding their names to our war memorials.

“This scheme would help to ensure that the borough’s main war memorials more accurately commemorate the sacrifice of local people during wartime and armed conflict.

“It would help to resolve the issue of relatives feeling a sense of injustice that their ancestor has been previously omitted.”

New submissions would have to provide evidence that the individual concerned died directly due to war action between 1914 and the present day.

A new Memorial Committee would be set up to co-ordinate the work of the project and all validated names physically added to the memorial in Victory Square, and Redheugh Memorial if the family wished it.

The project will be discussed by the Regeneration Services Committee when it next meets at 2pm on Friday, in the civic centre, and is open to the public.