Hartlepool's plan to create Field of Remembrance in honour of town's fallen soldiers
A campaign is underway to create a Field of Remembrance around Hartlepool war memorial for this year's Armistice commemorations.
Organisers aim to plant 1,750 small wooden crosses with poppies around the memorial in Victory Square.
All but one will carry a name of the 1,749 known First World War casualty from the town and a single unnamed one representing all of Hartlepool’s unknown soldiers.
A crowdfunding appeal has been launched with a goal to raise £4,500 to be able to buy sufficient of the £2.50 crosses from the Royal British Legion.
It is the idea of Hartlepool Labour party members and friends Anth Frain, Ian Cawley, and Councillor Dave Hunter with backing from Hartlepool Poppy appeal organiser Sian Cameron among others.
Ian Cawley, who a veteran of the Green Howards, said: “We got talking about doing something a little bit different so the people of Hartlepool could come on board and support it.
“Then we approached Sian for her help and support. We are up to about £1,300 at the moment.
“We hope to raise enough to be able to make a good contribution to the British Legion.”
The tradition of planting a Field of Remembrance started in 1928 in the grounds of St Margaret’s church, The Westminster.
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There was one at Westminster Abbey opened by Prince Harry last year.
Local Historian Bert Wilson has put together a list of the Hartlepool casualties for the town’s field.
Anth Frain says on the fundraising page at GoFundMe: “Hartlepool is well known for our commitment, support and dedication to our Armed Forces with impressive year on year donations to our local poppy appeals but with this year marking the centenary of the end of The Great War, we’re hoping you’ll go a little further.”
Sian Cameron said she thinks it is a great idea.
She said: “It is a really poignant way of remembering the people that we lost and in quite a visual way. “When you see all those crosses lined up it will be a real reminder of how many lives were lost just from our town alone.”
Organisers are also appealing for volunteers to help plant the crosses in time for Remembrance Sunday on November 11.
Anybody who wants to get involved can speak to Ian at Burbank Community Centre or call him on 07472 358704.
To donate to the fund go to Hartlepool Field of Remembrance on www.gofundme.com or click here.