War memorial to Dearne soldiers unveiled

The unveiling of Dearne Towns War Memorial.
The unveiling of Dearne Towns War Memorial.

A war memorial has been unveiled to remember 298 Dearne soldiers who lost their lives in battle.

The Dearne Towns War Memorial in Bolton-on-Dearne Cemetery pays homage to soldiers from Bolton-on-Dearne, Goldthorpe and Higate who died in the First and Second World Wars.

Project leaders at Dearne Memorial Group first came up with the idea 12 years ago to bring the names of soldiers from the three former pit villages all onto one memorial.

There is also space to include names of soldiers from more recent conflicts.

It has taken more than a decade to gather information about all of those who died but the project finally came to fruition when the memorial was opened on Sunday, August 3.

Communities have also supported a £30, 000 fundraising appeal in the last two years to help make the vision a reality.

Group founder and secretary Pete Shields, 67, of Whinside Crescent, Thurnscoe, said: “There are various memorials dotted around Bolton and Goldthorpe but we thought it would be good to get them all together into one place and that is what this memorial does.

“The response to the fundraising appeal has been unbelievable, people in the Dearne and further afield are so generous.

“It has taken a long time to get all the information together but now we are so happy the memorial has been opened.”

The fundraising appeal is still £3000 short of the total, but Swinton-based stonemason Brian Butterfield agreed to do the work and accept payment later when the funds are raised.

Dearne MP John Healey, who attended the memorial unveiling, paid tribute to the “generosity of the people of the Dearne” who raised funds through “individual donations, coffee mornings, local events and a few local schools who did small fundraisers to give what they could.”

He added: “I want to commend the great effort the group and others have put in to achieve this.”

Meanwhile, members of the memorial group have visited Dearne schools to tell children about their project.

An exhibition is also planned to take place in Goldthorpe Library in November giving details about each soldier featured on the memorial.