WAR MEMORIAL BACKGROUND
Various organisations and individuals have been campaigning for a war memorial for Bramley for a number of years.
Prominent among these is Bramley History Society.
As part of its campaign for a memorial, Bramley History Society decided to collect records of Bramley service personnel who fell in conflict.
The Society’s archivist, Marion North, was delighted when fellow committee member Brian Crowther volunteered to collect and collate information on Bramley service personnel who fell in action.
By October 2007, Brian had recorded over 200 names with details of the Force/Regiment, rank, age at death, burial site (where known). With full approval of the History Society, Brian generously shared this archive with Bramley St Peter’s Parish Church when the church began planning a Field of Remembrance for Bramley, as part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of St Peter’s.
Sadly, Brian Crowther died on 11th April 2011 and so did not see the first Field of Remembrance, which was created at the Service of Remembrance at St Peter’s in November 2011. Individual crosses, each with the name of a Bramley service man or woman, were placed in front of the small memorial in the churchyard.
About 250 crosses were laid. Names continued to be added to the list of the fallen and at the third Field of Remembrance in November 2013, some 370 crosses were laid.
By this time, the Service of Remembrance at St Peter’s had developed into a community event, with wreaths being laid by our MP, our ward councillors, representatives from schools, uniformed groups and a variety of local organisations.
The public response was enthusiastic and the space at St Peter’s was very inadequate for those attending.
A new site was needed.
The campaigning of the Bramley History Society and the creation of a Bramley Field of Remembrance helped attract public attention towards the need for a war memorial in Bramley and a committee was formed in 2011 to start looking into what would be involved.
In 2012, the committee was re-formed as the Friends of a War Memorial for Bramley under the leadership of Caroline Gruen, who was elected Councillor later that year, and the then Councillor Ted Hanley.
Public meetings were held in early 2012 and February 2013 which included establishing John Thorp as the architect, Bramley Park as the location and to review donations and pledges made to date.
The Friends set the ambitious target of a war memorial to be in place in time for the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One on 4th August 2014. Amazingly this was achieved.
This involved monumental tasks.
One was that of validating all the details of service personnel, the number of which had increased to over 600. This was undertaken by archivist John Barker who continued the work begun by Brian Crowther.
A site and a design for the memorial itself had to be agreed by the public and managed by architects John Thorp and Warren Horner. The next challenge was securing the necessary funding, which came from a variety of sources some of which are shown on the Sponsors’ Plaque.
Fundraiser Frances Barker and Chair Caroline Gruen were the leaders in this activity.
Wendy Fulthorpe, mother of Sheldon Steel who died in 2011, together with her family and work colleagues tirelessly worked on fundraising and community support.
The Friends of Bramley War Memorial Committee acted as both drivers and an overeaching Committee monitoring diligence and compliance.
At the date of the Unveiling the Committee Members were:
Councillor Caroline Gruen, Councillor Ted Hanley John Lockett,
Roger Cliff, Norah Gibson, John Jose, Jim Harrison,
Marion North, Frances Barker, Phillip Townsley
John Barker, Bruce Holroyd
Extracts from WordPress Blog 2012/2013
November 30, 2012
Hello and all the Bramley Memorial latest news!
As you may have seen in the Yorkshire Evening Post today, we had a coffee morning yesterday at Leeds Building Society in Armley to discuss ideas and plans for the memorial. Leeds Building Society are kindly sponsoring the project and Bramley Tesco provided a stack of mince pies so thank you to both!
The memorial will also be discussed today on BBC Radio Leeds from 4pm so tune in!
The Bramley War Memorial group finance committee will be meeting on Thursday 17th January. If you would like to be involved in finance and fundraising please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The next main group meeting will be on Wednesday 30th January, again, please email if you would like to be involved.
The campaign for a war memorial in Bramley
The Bramley War Memorial group was set up in June 2012 following a public meeting to discuss whether the people of Bramley wanted a memorial for the town. The answer was a resounding YES and a committee was elected to take the project forward, chaired by Councillor Caroline Gruen with Councillor Ted Hanley taking a lead on fundraising.
Architect, John Thorp MBE has agreed to act as design consultant for the construction of the memorial and has already drawn up some plans. Rachel Reeves MP and former MP the Rt Hon John Battle are patrons of the group.
If you would like to get involved in the group or contribute ideas or sponsorship please contact email@example.com