Spalding veterans’ joy as WWII Memorial takes shape

Spalding's WWII Memorial Committee Jan Whitbourn, Rodney Grocock, Ken Willows, Keith Crawford, Christine Grocock and David Allmond. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG040418-117TW
Spalding's WWII Memorial Committee Jan Whitbourn, Rodney Grocock, Ken Willows, Keith Crawford, Christine Grocock and David Allmond. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG040418-117TW
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Ex-service veterans are celebrating as Spalding’s long-awaited, WWII Memorial takes shape in The Peace Garden at Ayscoughfee.

The ‘vets’ – along with South Holland District Council chairman Coun Rodney Grocock and wife Christine – visited the site yesterday (Wednesday) to see the sub-structure in place.

Paras chairman David Allmond (left) with proud builders Mark Wilson and Karl Halgarth, of Dorset Homes Lincs. SG040418-122TW

Paras chairman David Allmond (left) with proud builders Mark Wilson and Karl Halgarth, of Dorset Homes Lincs. SG040418-122TW

The sub-structure, which looks like a curved wall, was built by Dorset Homes Lincs, who donated their services to the project, and the materials were also donated by Jacksons of Spalding.

Mark Wilson, from Dorset Homes Lincs, said: “We are very proud to have been involved.”

And workmate Karl Halgarth said: “It’s good to put a little bit back ... I spent hours down here as a kid.”

Coun Grocock, who chairs the WWII Memorial Committee, said the committee is grateful for the generosity which has kept the memorial project on target.

He said: “I am absolutely thrilled to bits that we are still on course.”

Currently, the names of Spalding’s WWII fallen are commemorated only on plaques in parish churches but the project will see each one immortalised in The Peace Garden as their names are carved on marble that will cover the sub-structure.

Spalding and District Royal Naval Association chairman Keith Crawford said: “I think it is most important. We can’t let these things die.”

David Allmond (79), who chairs Spalding branch of the Paras, said the memorial will allow people to meet in one place to remember those who gave their lives for this country.

He said: “I think it is important for the younger generation to learn about events that seem quite recent to me but are ancient history for them.”

And Ken Willows (82), the former Spalding chairman of The Lincolns, said: “It’s a WWII Peace Garden and the memorial will fit in very nicely.”

Fundraising will continue at a civic event hosted by Coun Grocock on April 27 and with collections at Morrison’s on August 15 and 15.

• Coun Grocock says district councillors are to decide on a suitable site for the drinking fountain moved from Ayscoughfee to make way for the WWII Memorial and a debate will take place.

He says the drinking fountain is “such a beautiful monument” that it must go in a protected area “rather than left under the trees at Ayscoughfee to go green”.

Previously ...

Spalding WWII veteran Les (96) served alongside tragic ‘Chambo’

The family of one of Spalding’s Second World War heroes talk about the man whose name will be engraved on a new memorial

Spalding WWII Memorial Appeal: £860 reasons to collect at Morrison’s