New memorial unveiled at Dewsbury Cemetery for 15 forgotten soldiers

Dewsbury Cemetery held a remembrance service over the weekend for 15 First World War soldiers who have been found buried in the grounds.

By Jessica Barton
Friday, 27th May 2022, 6:00 am
The memorial service was in honour of a further 15 soldiers that were found buried in the cemetery.
The memorial service was in honour of a further 15 soldiers that were found buried in the cemetery.

Five years ago, the New Friends of Dewsbury Cemetery raised more than £11,000 to fund a memorial for the 107 soldiers who were buried at the site..

However, since the memorial was unveiled five years ago, the cemetery group, along with Dewsbury Sacrifice - a First World War project in the town - have discovered a further 15 soldiers buried in the cemetery with either private or unmarked graves.

After Christine Leeman, treasurer of the New Friends of Dewsbury Cemetery, contacted Peter Bennett, from Dewsbury Sacrifice, the names of the 15 soldiers were compiled and have now been added to the memorial along with the names of their 107 other comrades.

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Around 80 people attended the service to pay their respects.

The memorial service for the 15 soldiers took place on Saturday, May 21. It involved the attendance of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light infantry, Father Jonathan Hart from St Paulinus Church, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Kevin Sharpe, honour guards Kevin Morley and Nigel Fix, as well as representatives from the Royal British Legion and the Cadets.

Fred Adamson, 102, also attended with his grandson and laid a wreath.

Christine said: “We feel really passionate about the soldiers that are buried in the cemetery because of what they did and they deserve to be acknowledged - and now they are.

“These lads have gone off into oblivion and nobody knows anything about them - they deserve to be amongst the other ones on the memorial plaque.

“Headstones and Memorial in Dewsbury are amazing and they contacted me and said they would make the plaques, engrave them and fit them without a charge - I can’t thank them enough.

“After the plaques were made, we decided that this warranted some kind of a service.

“It was a lovely service and quite a number of people turned up.

“I am really happy that these soldiers are all reunited with their comrades and they're all together now.

“I want to thank everyone who attended. We organised it and compiled all the names but it is the people that come along who make it.

“At the end of the service - it was probably a coincidence - but all of a sudden in the housing estate over the wall all these fireworks started to go off.

“We don't know who did it but it was timed perfectly - it really did finish the service and I would love to find out who was responsible for them.”

Were you or someone you know responsible for the fireworks? Contact [email protected]