War dead set to be honoured

DEARNE casualties from the two world wars are set to be honoured with a new memorial.

More than 270 names have so far been collected of the war dead from Goldthorpe, Bolton-upon-Dearne and Highgate all of which are due to be featured on the Dearne Towns War Memorial at Bolton-on-Dearne cemetery.

The statue has been commissioned by The Dearne Memorial Group which has already collected £2,000 towards the cost of it in just over a month.

They have so far collected 201 names from the First World War and 75 from the Second World War.

Former soldier Pete Shields, 65, of the Dearne Memorial Group, said: “We should honour our war dead with proper memorials.

“I don’t think people who have sacrificed their lives for their country in conflicts should be hidden away.

“This is why we want to put the memorial of all the Dearne people who died in one memorial in a place where the public can see it.

“We should never forget the sacrifice that they made.”

Group members came up with the idea after Mr Shields secured a Commonwealth War Grave for Gunner Edward Outram, from Bolton, who was a prisoner of war for four years.

He was captured by the Italians while fighting in the middle east and was liberated from a German POW camp by the Russians.

Mr Shields said: “His story is inspiring and the idea stemmed from securing his grave.

“We have been searching websites and gathering names from other memorials and the list is growing daily.

“I’m currently in the process of verifying all of the names with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.”

He has written to the Bereavement Services at Barnsley Council and is awaiting the go ahead from councillors.

The group also hopes to leave a space on the memorial to honour local soldiers who have died in recent conflicts, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.