A commemorative plaque has been reinstated in a town centre – after a long battle by the community to get it put back in place. Uttoxeter Town Council and The Royal British Legion revealed on Monday that the town’s Area of Reflection has finally been granted permission by Staffordshire County Council (SCC).
A commemorative plaque has been reinstated in a town centre – after a long battle by the community to get it put back in place.
Uttoxeter Town Council and The Royal British Legion revealed on Monday that the town’s Area of Reflection has finally been granted permission by Staffordshire County Council (SCC).
The WWI Commemorative Plaque, donated by JCB, had initially been put in place in Uttoxeter’s Market Square as part of 2018’s 100th anniversary commemorations of the end of the Great War.
However, it was then removed as it had only initially received temporary consent from SCC.
Now, almost three years on, the plaque has been put back in place and benches are also going to be added to the site to created an Area of Reflection.
Uttoxeter Mayor councillor Chris Sylvester said: “I am very pleased to announce that permission has been granted by SCC for the Area of Reflection adjacent to the Town War Memorial.
“The WWI Commemorative Plaque donated by JCB has been reinstated today (Monday) and the installation of the two commemorative benches, one kindly donated to the town by the Royal British Legion and one by Uttoxeter Knights will be installed later this week along with the Silent Soldier Silhouette donated by The Royal British Legion.
“The return of the commemorative plaque to its rightful place will help remind us all of the sacrifices made by our soldiers in two world wars and the many conflicts since.
“The addition of two benches from the Royal British Legion and Uttoxeter Knights will enable the public to sit and reflect in a beautiful spot.
“I would like to thank the former Mayors’ councillors Alison Trenery and Sue McGarry together with new county councillor Philip Hudson for all the tremendous work they have put in bringing this about and giving the people of Uttoxeter the Area of Reflection they wanted.”
Councillor Helen Headech said: “As the Deputy Mayor, I would like to thank all of the people who helped make the permanent Area of Reflection next to the Town’s War Memorial a reality.
“It has to be acknowledged that at times this has not been an easy task, the dedication of those involved over a number of years in ensuring the project reached a positive conclusion is a testimony to what can be achieved by individuals and groups working together for the greater good of the town.”
Chair of the Uttoxeter Branch of the Royal British Legion and county councillor Philip Hudson stated: “As your county councillor I promised that if I was elected, I would grant permission for the Area of Reflection to be incorporated as a permanent reminder and an area to reflect within the Market Square adjacent to the war memorial for our residents and visitors to the town to use.”
He added: “The original idea came from the Uttoxeter Branch of the Royal Branch Legion to say, ‘Thank You’ to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the ‘Great War’ – the War to end all Wars.
“However other conflicts have occurred since and this area should remind us of the importance to keep peace in the world.
“I wish to express my sincere thanks to everyone who showed their support for this wonderful token of appreciation that is here now and for future generations.”
Former Uttoxeter Town Mayor and councillor Sue McGarry said: “During my two years as Mayor of Uttoxeter I endeavoured, despite constant opposition, to ensure the Area of Reflection remained in place in order that residents of Uttoxeter could remember their heroes.
“I was deeply saddened when, during the previous county councillors term of office, he felt the need to take down the commemorative plaque and refused to make the locality by our War Memorial a permanent area of remembrance.
“That said I am absolutely delighted that under the control of the new county councillor Philip Hudson this decision has been reversed.
“I look forward to seeing all memorial items including the Commemorative Plaque, the Solider Silhouette and the benches which I, along with others, were instrumental in choosing, take their rightful place in Uttoxeter’s Area of Reflection.”
A short Act of Remembrance and Dedication Service at the Town War Memorial and Area of Reflection is set to take place on Sunday, August 29 at 11.30am.
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