Will young Warwick Marine be properly remembered?
WAR memorial campaigner David Bradshaw is hoping to embarrass Warwick councillors into adding the name of another lost serviceman to the recently refurbished town monument.
Mr Bradshaw - who won agreement for 16 extra names to be added to the Leamington war memorial - first mentioned Royal Marine Graham Gillingham some two years ago.
The 20-year-old sailor died on Christmas Eve 1962 during a friendly fire incident while on active service in Bruini.
But last October when £18,000 worth of renovations were carried out to Wawick’s memorial in Church Street, Mr Gillingham’s name was not amongst some 40 others that were officially added.
This is despite the fact that the young Marine grew up in George Street, Warwick, and still has relatives in the town.
Town clerk Derek Maudlin says they need to agree some sort of system for adding extra names, perhaps in groups, as appropriate, rather than spending taxpayers’ money on brass plaques for the odd one or two.
That idea cuts no ice with Mr Bradshaw, who said: “This young man gave his life for his country. No cost should be too high in commemorating his memory.
“He enlisted in the Royal Marines on the same day as his Leamington College schoolfriend Fred Stopps also joined up. Both saw active service during the war in Borneo but then Graham was sent to Bruini where he died in an accidental shooting incident.
“His friend Fred survived that war but is still concerned that Graham is not named on the town’s memorial. Especially as he still has relatives living in Warwick.”
Town clerk Derek Maudlin is sympathetic to Mr Bradshaw’s plea for recognition but he says: “Unfortunately when Mr Gillingham’s name was first mentioned we did not have confirmation of the details of his death and he was missed off the list.
“We could have a small brass plate added but it doesn’t strike me as a proper way to manage the system when there is the liklihood of other names needing to be added in the future.”
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