LABOUR candidate, Polly Billington, has joined Tilbury residents and community leaders in calling for the town’s war memorial to be included in the proposed thousands of British war memorials that are to be listed.
Only 1,300 are listed at the moment but Culture secretary Maria Miller is tripling the number of monuments with the status to more than 3.800.
The cabinet minister called on the public to ‘nominate local memorials for the cherished status through English Heritage. And Mrs Miller also urged people to apply for a 5 million grant pot set aside to maintain them.
She said: “No British servicemen who saw action in the Great War still survives the centenary next year comes at a point where living memory turns into written history.
“War memorials are a precious part of our heritage that keeps alive the ultimate sacrifice that so many made.”
There are 16,000 UK war monuments plus 75,00 plaques, benches and engraved paving stones.
But most are on common land so they are not owned or maintained by individuals or councils.
Ms Billington said: “Attending Remembrance Sunday service in Tilbury this year was a heart warming experience as the whole community gathered to pay their respects to our armed forces who have given their lives for our country.
Our war memorial in Tilbury is an important landmark as part of the original design of the civic square adapted to commemorate the fallen.
There is now a proposal to protect our war memorials and get them listed. Those in Thurrock, and especially Tilbury,which is one of the first planned town centres in Thurrock, should be right at the top of the list. I urge everyone in our community who cares about the continuing commemoration of our war dead, and the public spaces we all share to back the move to protect our war memorials. I call on all elected representatives including Jackie Doyle Price and our local councillors to join me in backing these proposals.”
Anne Barnard-Hill, Tilbury Branch, The British Legion, said:
“I feel the memorial has got to be listed, as a lot of memorials are neglected now, and this is the centre point of Tilbury.
“Every year more and more people turn out to the memorial to support our fallen soldiers. This is really important to the community here, and it is wonderful to have Polly’s support on this matter, it is nice to have some recognition for the work we do.
“This has got to be preserved and protected especially coming up to the centenary of WW1 next year. This needs be here forever for future generations to remember.”
Can we do something about this and get and get the War Memorial in Civic Square
Recognized listed and Funded to get some maintenance work done on it