Marlborough Council facing grave decision

This Is Wiltshire: Former mayor Andrew Ross Former mayor Andrew Ross

Town councillors are looking into whether extra names can be added to the 1939-45 war memorial in Marlborough after being told by a local family that the name of one soldier who died in action in 1944 was left off.

Marlborough has two war memorials, the Second World War memorial by the New Road mini roundabout and the First World War Wiltshire Regiment 7th Battalion monument by the junction of London and Salisbury Roads.

The town council has received an email from a relative of the man who died in 1944 but town clerk Derek Wolfe has obscured personal details to preserve the confidentiality of the family.

The email stated: “I am writing to request that my late uncle’s name be added to the Marlborough War memorial. He lived in and around Marlbor-ough all his life.

“I have done extensive research on the surrounding war memorials but there is no record of him anywhere. My aunt believes the correct location for any memorial to him should be on the main memorial in Marlborough.”

Mr Wolfe told the last full council meeting that it should adopt a policy of how to deal with this request and others that might be received in due course.

Coun Margaret Rose said it would be helpful if this sort of request was backed up by a supporting letter from the Royal British Legion.

Mayor Edwina Fogg told councillors: “This issue cannot be decided before we look into this carefully. We need to defer this before we decide what to do.”

Coun Nick Fogg said that in a number of other communities names had been added to war memorials since they were originally put up and he said: “Out of fairness to the person who has contacted us we should move this along quickly.”

Former mayor Andrew Ross, who has been studying the Marlborough war memorials, said: “They do not contain lists of all the war dead.”

Coun Ross said the names of the fallen were recorded in several places, on memorial tablets in St Mary’s, St Peter’s and St George’s churches and further lists had been published in the local paper, the old Marlborough Times, following the wars.

“There are at least 20 soldiers from Marlborough who died in service whose names are not on the memorials,” said Coun Ross, giving the example of Trooper George Perrett who died in 1917 and whose name is not recorded on any memorial.

Councillors agreed their policy committee should be asked to formulate a policy as soon as possible on the matter of names being added to the memorials.

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