Prescot War Memorial Was First in Country, Imperial War Museum Confirms

By on Friday, September 16, 2016

prescot-war-memorialPrescot War Memorial was the first civic war memorial to be erected in the UK, according to Imperial War Museum records.

Local historians have always known the monument, which turns 100 this year, was among the first, but they now know it was the very first on record.

It was originally placed in Church Street, outside what is now the Deanes House pub, on 9 September 1916, at the height of World War I. It was sculpted from Aberdeen granite by Samuel Welsby of Widnes, having been commissioned by Councillor William John Lucas.

Over 4,000 people attended the ceremony to witness the unveiling by Lieutenant Colonel Sir Henry Webb, an MP and Commander of Prescot Barracks, in the presence of the Earl of Derby.

The lofty statue, which depicts a soldier from the South Lancashire Regiment, was later moved to the steps of Prescot Parish Church, off Market Place, where it still stands.

war-memorial-centenary-prescotIn 2015 the memorial was given Grade II listed status, and this year members of the Friends of Prescot Cemetery & Churchyard joined Prescot Town and Knowsley Borough Council to organise a 100th anniversary ceremony.

The commemoration, held on Friday 9 September – a century to the day since the war memorial was first unveiled – was attended by the current Lord Derby as well as local residents, dignitaries and schoolchildren.

Radio Merseyside covered the event, interviewing members of the Friends group, as well as the current Lord Derby and historian Stephen Nulty, of www.prescot-rollofhonour.info.

Photos: Geoff Ormesher

One Comment

  1. Stephen Nulty

    Monday, September 19, 2016 at 9:52 am

    This is gr6eat news. My research into the memorial suggested to me some years back that it may have been the first, but I struggled to prove this due to the lack of evidence of other memorials.

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