Spalding’s first war memorial

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Spalding’s first war memorial was due to be unveiled a hundred years ago.

The Rev E P Gough was to unveil and dedicate the memorial, which was said to be in “the form of the street shrines in London”.

It had been erected in Commercial Road, and was described as a large board with a picture, ‘The Great Sacrifice’, in the centre. Round the picture were over 100 names of men serving the country in the Great War whose homes were in Commercial Road, Willow Row Walk, Albert Street and Albion Street.

On the board were also the names of those “who have paid the great sacrifice of giving their lives in the country’s service”.

Beneath the memorial was a tin, in which flowers were placed in honour of “the brave sons of the district” whose names were on the board.

Captain Hill, of the Church Army, and who was in charge of the Church Mission in Commercial Road, had made a house to house canvass in the district to compile the names.

The report said: “The people of the neighbourhood are naturally proud, not only of this striking witness of their patriotism, but also of being the residents of the first place in the district to erect such a memorial to their noble sons.”

Another local “noble son” received even higher recognition in 1916.

Gallant airman Capt Gerald-Dixon-Spain, youngest son of the vicar of Long Sutton, had received the Military Medal and the award had been recorded in the list of honours in the London Gazette.

Capt Dixon-Spain performed deeds of “gallantry and devotion to duty” on many occasions in his role with the Flying Corps, in particular attacking and driving back hostile machines, and shooting one down.