A heart warming story of hope and determination to 'Remember Those Who Gave All'.
In the 1950s, fifteen trees were planted in a small copse in the Sheffield suburb of Frecheville, to remember those locals who had died serving their country in the Second World War. Close to the Community Centre and a popular fishing pond, they stood for many years as a pleasant, if somewhat largely ignored, memorial to the fallen.
Then three years ago, the local authority decided that they needed to uproot and replace some of those trees to fit in with refurbishment plans. At this point local Legion member and WW2 Veteran Bill Carline, felt that if this development was to go ahead, then it was maybe time to think about a more permanent dedication to those who didn't come home...... and so began “Bill's Dream”.
Bill started making enquiries about building a monument that would respectfully pay tribute to the dead. He quickly discovered that about £7K would be needed, and that there would be “Planning” obstacles at every stage. Not deterred however, he recruited a retired Bank Manager friend who was able to give sound advice about fund raising, and along with a few close friends, began submitting designs and seeking the appropriate permissions for the project to proceed. Two of the local hostelries, “The Birley Hotel” and “The Sherwood” pledged their support and began active fund raising events. Many local shops had collecting boxes on their counters, and a number of Frecheville's residents joined in the fun. Design and construction plans were put in place and, despite having to overcome many bureaucratic hurdles, final approval was eventually given.
After two years, the funds were all in place and a timetable was established which would see the monument erected and revealed to the public in the summer of 2015.
On August 15th this year, to coincide with the VJ Day commemorations, the whole of Frecheville, along with members of the local Legion branch, a whole host of veterans, Air Cadets, Pipes and Drum bands and a selection of local dignitaries, turned out for the Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony. A Service of Remembrance, at which cadets laid crosses for each of the 19 names, formed the basis of the event. Hymns were sung, Standards were paraded, wreaths were laid, and “Two Minutes Silence” allowed a befitting reflection. Afterwards, many locals filed past the structure paying their own dignified tribute, and then gathered in the local bar to congratulate Bill on his splendid achievement.
“Bill's Dream” had been realised.
The photo's of the oldest members ex-servicemen at the memorial, all are 94 yrs old.