Memorial for heroes

Friends of North Cemetery members.
Friends of North Cemetery members.

PLANS to add a First World War memorial and create a remembrance area at a Hartlepool cemetery are forging ahead.

The names of 39 soldiers will be inscribed on the memorial stone which will be erected at North Cemetery, off the town’s Raby Road.

It comes after 81 fallen heroes’ headstones were stripped from the site four decades ago due to vandalism.

But this year the War Graves Commission, along with the Friends of North Cemetery (FONC) which protects the cemetery, will re-instate 42 headstones where burial sites can be pinpointed exactly from records – the other 39 will be etched onto the granite memorial stone.

The War Graves Commission is funding the cost of the headstones and memorial, but FONC wants to create a remembrance walkway and an area for the stone to sit.

This will cost the group £8,000, of which it already has £2,000, while it is hoping to get the shortfall from sponsorships.

Secretary of FONC, Julie Rudge, discussed the plans at a meeting of the Friends of Victory Square, saying: “Hopefully the total won’t be too far out of our reach.

“The £8,000 is for the memorial area only, to give it a better appearance so that it’s not just chucked onto a piece of grass.

“We are already in the process of looking at the walkway leading up to the memorial site, which is currently lined with headstones, as a memorial walk.”

Irene Cross, a developmental officer for Hartlepool Borough Council, who is working alongside FONC, said: “We need to find some money to make it a feature so that we can hold things like remembrance services and so that North Cemetery is identified as a place to visit.”