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Adding the names of those who fell in the Second World War

Ash War Memorial Mr JA Webster, Ash Parish Clerk 1945-1966, lived at 5 Summer Cottages in Guildford Road. It was his job to organise the adding of the names of those who fell in the Second World War to the Ash War Memorial. On 16 August 1947 he wrote to the Rector, Reverend Insley, and Mr Holloway, the Secretary of the Ash Branch of the British Legion, asking them to draw attention to an advertisement which he was about to place in the local press.

Mr Holloway replied on 20 September, enclosing a list of names that had been handed in to him. Mr Webster contacted Patricks Stonemasons of Farnham who sent in a quotation of 10/- per dozen letters incised and coloured black to match the existing style, and 2/9d per dozen letters for re-blacking the existing letters. Mr Webster scribbled a pencilled note at the foot of the letter - he reckoned the work would cost 6 16/8d. On 17 January 1948 Mr Webster wrote to Patricks accepting the quote and asking them to call on the Chairman of Ash Parish Council, Ronald Tolley, at his garage, as he would explain where the names should be placed.

Shortly afterwards Mr Webster received a letter from George Puttick, honorary secretary of the British Legion and United Services Fund Service Committee (whose own son Walter had been killed in France) with a request to add one more name, William Ives. After that Mr Webster was asked to add Gurney Crowther, and wrote to Patricks to arrange this. Patricks replied to confirm that they would add Gurney Crowther, but, sounding rather anxious, requested "a thorough check of all the names so that the list is ready for us as soon as the weather permits the work to be done. We feel sure that you will not mind us stressing the necessity for this, since, in all of the last seven war memorials we have worked on, at least one mistake has been made in each in the names, and alteration is a most unsatisfactory business".

The 23 names were then added to the War Memorial on two of the panels between the WWI names, and a letter was sent inviting people to a commemorative service on 20 June 1948 at 3pm. The Surrey and Hants News 24 June 1948 reported that General Sir Robert Haining performed the unveiling ceremony and gave an inspiring address. The Ash Branch of the British Legion and the British Red Cross were represented, and Ash Parish Council was represented by Mr Tolley, Mr Scard and Mr Hawkins.

Ash War Memorial
Shortly after the unveiling further requests were received for six more names to be included. Kenneth Deacon, Reginald Friday and Wilfred Friday were added to one panel and Reginald Lake, Frederick Lowdon and Maurice Smith were added to the other panel. On 17 March 1951 Mr Webster placed another advertisement in the local press. He sent it to the Aldershot News, Farnham Herald, Surrey and Hants News, Surrey Advertiser and Surrey Times and the closing date was 30th April 1951. Six more names were submitted. Arthur Boraman, Malcolm Colwill and Leslie Flynn were added to one panel and Harry Gear, Walter Murray and Victor Stacey were added to the other. Meanwhile some of the paint had perished. Patricks explained that "post-war enamel was in no way equal in quality to pre-war enamel". Later Alan Moore was added, so that by 1952 it was considered that that the list of 36 names was now complete.

However, in 1985, the veterans of a small town in Belgium decided to erect a memorial to three British airmen killed when a Blenheim bomber crashed in their village. They tried to trace the airmen's relatives to invite them to the unveiling, and it was discovered that Joe McDonnell of Ash Vale had been killed. In 1986 his name was duly added to the war memorial. This time Finches carried out the work.In 1999 Ash Parish Council added one more name. That of Alfred Alexander, who had been overlooked because he had been killed in England training pilots.

Ash War Memorial Ash War Memorial

Ash War Memorial

Ash Second World War Roll of Honour

 


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