‘We need a memorial to the 600 Jarrow men who gave up their lives’

MEMORIAL CAMPAIGN ... Alan Forrester with a photo of grandfather Adam Greig, who died in the First World War.
MEMORIAL CAMPAIGN ... Alan Forrester with a photo of grandfather Adam Greig, who died in the First World War.

THE grandson of a soldier killed in the First World War is calling for those killed in action to be have their sacrifice recognised.

Alan Forrester says he has been left dismayed and angered after discovering the names of those from Jarrow who died fighting for their country do not appear on any of the town’s war memorials.

It would be nice to be able to go somewhere on Remembrance Day to remember my grandfather, to stand at a memorial where his name is and pay our respects.

Alan Forrester

It was an issue raised by campaigner Vin Mullen in 2011. However, he says that despite assurances it would be looked into at the time by the Jarrow and Hebburn community area forum, nothing has come of it.

Now, Mr Forrester, from Stanhope Road, Jarrow, is calling for something to be done to recognise those from the area who died during the First World War.

Mr Forrester’s grandfather Adam Greig was 22 years old when he was killed in 1916. He served as a private with the West Yorkshire Regiment.

He has no known grave in Thiepval Memorial, created for those who died in the Somme between 1915 and 1918.

He said: “I was tracing my family history when I discovered my grandfather had been killed during the First World War. I went to the memorial in Jarrow, but his name wasn’t on it.

“After further research, I found that none of more than 600 men who were from Jarrow who died in the first war were listed.

“There is a memorial outside Palmer’s Hospital, but it only has those who worked within the shipyards on it.

“Obviously I’m annoyed, but it’s also frustrating that over 600 men’s names have not been recognised.

“It would be nice to be able to go somewhere on Remembrance Day to remember my grandfather, to stand at a memorial where his name is and pay our respects.”

It’s a call which is being backed by Vin Mullen, who has long campaigned for the dead of Jarrow from both world wars to be properly recognised.

Last year, he called on South Tyneside Council to create a memorial to those who lost their lives and says a tribute of this nature is long-overdue.

His grandmother’s two brothers, William and Frank Monaghan, were both killed in early 1915, and have no known grave in the fields of Ypres, Belgium.

Her older sister also lost her husband, Tom Wadey, at Ypres in the same year.

Mr Mullen, from Prince Consort Road, Jarrow, said: “I first raised this in 2011 with the council and Stephen Hepburn’s office, but I haven’t heard anything since.

“There has been a suggestion of a digital memorial, but people want somewhere physical where they can pay their respects.

“Every year you have the councillors make a big deal of marching down to cenotaphs, yet they don’t seem to have done anything about the men who fought and lost their lives in the First World War from this town who are not recognised on any cenotaph.

“I think people need to start standing up and calling for our council to do something, as these are people from the town who paid the ultimate sacrifice for us.”

According to information from the North East War Memorials project, after the Great War the Government did not bring the bodies of those killed home.

However, the Government introduced the 1923 Act which allowed local authorities to levy a small rate towards costs and maintenance. It is a power they still hold.

South Tyneside Council was unable to comment.

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