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WEEKEND WEB: Spalding war memorial plan proposed

An appeal for the whereabouts of two missing local soldiers.
An appeal for the whereabouts of two missing local soldiers.

We look back at the Lincs Free Press this week in 1918 - in the final year of the First World War

A memorial to those in the Spalding Division who gave their lives in the war was to be erected in Ayscoughfee Gardens at Spalding.

An eminent architect was entrusted with the task of preparing the designs, which were to be submitted to the town authorities for their approval.

The undertaking was due to the initiative of the Hon Mrs Francis McLaren, the late Spalding MP’s wife, who laid before a meeting at Spalding her ideas as to the general lines the memorial should take and generously offered to meet the cost involved whilst inviting the council to provide the site.

The urban council very heartily endorsed the project and expressed their indebtedness to Mrs McLaren for the generous proposal she had made and agreed to the request to provide the site.

The memorial, it was suggested, should take the form of a cloistered garden and was to be erected at the head of the lake in Ayscoughfee Gardens, where the old owl tower stood.

The yews formed a fine background for a covered white cloister, which in time would tone to a beautiful grey.

There would be a garden and paths, with a distinctive memorial of the war at the end of the cloister abutting the lake.

In order to secure th emost artistic, most fitting memorial possible, Mrs McLaren had consulted Sir Edwin Lutyens, the well-known architect and artist, who was devoting himself to war memorials.

Sir Edwin proposed to make full use of the lake and one of the beauties of the memorial was to be its reflection in the placid water. The names, it was proposed, would be on the walls inside the cloister.

It is understood that it was in no sense to be a Francis McLaren memorial, as it was suggested in some quarters, but was to be on broader line, embracing all those from the Spalding Division who had given their lives for King and country.

It’s a small world (war)

In a letter acknowledging the receipt of his Christmas parcel from the Wigtoft parishioners, Trooper Robert Sharpe,of the Lincolnshire Yeomanry, convalescing at a camp in Montagal, near Alexandria, Egypt, had a pleasant surprise when he was visited by Trooper Harold Bowser, also of Wigtoft, who was called to Alexandria on business.


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