Campaign to honour Hartlepool's Boer War soldiers receives another boost

A campaign to buy a replacement statue to soldiers from Hartlepool who served in the Boer War has received a timely boost.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 4:45 pm
Boer war statue fundraiser Stephen Close receives a cheque for £500 from ex DLI soldier Frank Peers.

Hartlepool History Group is trying to raise £25,000 to replace a statue that was stolen over 50 years ago from Ward Jackson Park.

The initiative for a new statue that has been designed by Ray Lonsdale has received a number of generous donations and the fund currently stands at over £8,000.

As remembrance season approaches, the latest boost has been a cheque for £500 from ex Durham Light Infantry (DLI) soldier Frank Peers to the appeal’s chief fundraiser Stephen Close.

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A sketch of the replacement Boer War statue due to be put Ward Jackson Park. Picture by Frank Reid.

He said the project is on schedule to be constructed within the next 18 months.

Stephen said: “The remaining £17,000 is achievable within that time frame but we still need donations large and small to complete the project on time.

“We are not expecting any contributions from the council, and so far only two companies have shown any interest.

“Most of our fundraising to date is from private individuals and members of Ye Old Durhams Social Club.”

Twenty-three local men died in the Boer War in South Africa from 1899-1902 and in 1906, the people of Hartlepool paid for a bronze statue by public subscription of a soldier in the park.

It was stolen, presumably for scrap value, in 1968 and just the stone plinth remains.

A new statue has been designed by the creator of Seaham’s Tommy statue on the sea front.

Frank said: “I am honoured to contribute to a replacement statue for my fallen comrades from the DLI and other regiments and will continue to help with the fundraising effort until the job is complete.

“This is a project that will remind our young citizens of the futility of war and the importance of peace in their lifetime.”

The park’s original statue was designed by the famous English sculptor FW Doyle-Jones, who was commissioned to create many similar memorials to the Boer War dead.

Donations can be made online at www.gofundme.com/the-replacement-boer-war-statue.