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First missing name found for Blackburn war memorial
2:00pm Saturday 19th April 2014 in News
PROUD grandson Russell Davies has provided the first missing name from an eroded war memorial and promised to help find the rest before it is renovated and resited.
His mother Clara helped ensure the obelisk was moved to the Cathedral grounds from St Michael and All Angels’ Church, in Bastwell, when that building was demolished in the 1980s.
Since then many names on the stonework recording those who lost their lives in the First World War have worn away.
Council regeneration chief Maureen Bateson wants to restore them before the memorial is given a new home.
Mr Davies, 70, has passed on details of his grandad John Harrison from Palm Street, who was killed aged 26 in the Battle of the Somme on Wednesday October 18 1916.
A private in the First Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment, John was an engineer and weaver when he died in battle He said: “I am very proud of my grandfather and my mother who got the memorial moved.
“I want to make sure my grandad John’s name is restored when it is moved to its new home.
“I have seen his name on the war memorial in Thiepval in France and want it back where it should be in Blackburn.”
Mr Davies, from Willis Road, Feniscliffe, has been searching to find the original list of names on the roll of honour but so far without success.
He said: “I am happy to continue my search and would like anyone who knows names to contact me or the council.
“They were so brave and deserve to be remembered properly in Blackburn.
“I am delighted the council is restoring the memorial and giving it pride of place n in the new Cathedral Quarter.
“My late mother would be too.
“The whole family is proud of John and my brother Ian still uses some of his tools in his job as a mechanic.”
The memorial will be moved from its current site to ensure it does not get damaged during phase one of the £33m Cathedral Quarter Development, and repositioned when work finishes in Autumn 2015.
Council regeneration boss Maureen Bateson said: “I am delighted that Mr Davies has given us one of the missing names from the memorial and is offering to help find the rest.
“We want anyone who knows any of the missing names or the whereabouts of the original list to contact us.”
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