Call to honour our forgotten heroes

DO YOU know a forgotten Dewsbury hero? This week a campaign has been launched to honour armed forces personnel from the town who have died in service but are not commemorated on the war memorial in Crow Nest Park.
The monument is inscribed with the names of those who lost their lives in the two world wars, plus more recent conflicts.
But some names have never been added – and there may be even more Dewsbury servicemen that campaigners are unaware of.
A plea for information has been launched by a former magistrate, Liversedgebased Robert Scaife CBE, who has joined forces with Peter Bennett, a life member and regional volunteer for the War Memorials Trust, who lives in Dewsbury Moor.
Mr Scaife, 76, served with the RAF in the mid1950s and later became national chairman of the Royal British Legion.
They are appealing for information on any servicemen or women who have died, while still in the armed forces, but whose names are not included on the memorial.
Said Mr Bennett: “A lot of these men and women fought in Britain’s ‘forgotten wars’ of the 20th century and it is only right they are remembered.
“Cpl Stephen Curley, who was killed while serving with the Royal Marines in Afghanistan last year, has been added to an ‘other conflicts’ monument but many more have been omitted.
“We have created an initial list of names after working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but there may be more we’re unaware of.
“Some of the names we have found were not killed in action but died while still serving all over the world. To me there’s no difference – they died for their country and deserve to be honoured.
“We’d like to hear from relatives of the men and women we know about, plus any information on individuals we’ve yet to discover.”
The pair will be contacting the Royal British Legion to find out if the names they already have are eligible to be placed on Dewsbury’s Roll of Honour, or if another category needs to be created for them.
Both men are also keen to see the impressive memorial refurbished. Mr Scaife added: “Kirklees have told me that there is around £20,000 set aside for the upkeep of war memorials and seem quite keen to work with us to update and clean the memorial.”
Coun David Sheard, who sits on the council’s war memorials scrutiny panel, said: “I have been happy to work with Robert over the years in updating the memorials in the Spen Valley. Like Robert, I think we have a duty to keep our memorials up to date and in good condition.”

If you have any information about forgotten heroes, please email or write to The Press, 1 Oates Street, Dewsbury WF13 1BB.

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