Designs for a new scheme that will honour the war dead in the North East have been revealed.
The Ashington Memorial Garden in Northumberland will be developed in Kenilworth Road and organisers hope it will be completed in time for Remembrance Day.
Its centrepiece will be a new relocated war memorial which includes an inscribed plinth for the statue of the soldier from the existing memorial already there.
The project has been developed by Ashington Town Council, which is working closely with the Royal British Legion and the Western Front Association, as well as local historians and enthusiasts from the town who have together to form a working group to oversee it. Ashington town clerk Mike Slaughter said: “Once the necessary permissions are received regarding transfer of land ownership we will be in a position to apply to external funders and push forward with the scheme.
“The timing of any project is particularly poignant in the run up to the 100th anniversary of the commencement of World War I and the town council believe the Ashington community will welcome the development and establishment of a proper memorial garden in the town.”
The project will also see new plaques developed to recognise the town’s fallen which, the council says, will also provide an opportunity to address any omissions and errors from the previous memorials.
The Royal British Legion and the Western Front Association are taking the lead on this element of the project and are inviting contact and requests regarding any names that may have been omitted from the current memorial.
As part of First World War centenary events commemorative paving stones will be laid in the hometown of all those in the UK who were awarded the Victoria Cross.
Among those to be honoured will be Ashington-born Hugh Cairns, who won the Victoria Cross, and his paving stone will be incorporated into the plans.
The project will also see the town council working with local schools, including Bothal Middle School and the Church of England Academy, to develop information boards to be placed within the Garden with help of local heritage professional Barry Mead.