Planned correct spelling update on war memorial prompts appeal

Published Monday, 19 April 2021

Relatives or interested local people are being invited to suggest additional names or correct potential spelling errors on both the Beckenham and West Wickham war memorials.

The opportunity follows agreement to correct the spelling of a soldier from World War I and before doing this, so that no other changes are then made, the council has launched a unique appeal to relatives and other interested people if they know of other changes which also need to be made.  A notice period of four weeks is being allowed for interested parties to email suggestions to about the two war memorials in Beckenham and West Wickham town centres.  Enquiries therefore need to be received by 17 May 2021.

Private Alfred M Fullex, a World War I soldier has had his name spelled incorrectly on both the Beckenham and West Wickham war memorials for over 100 years and when this came to light following contact from a relative of Private Fullex, it was agreed to install an addendum plaque with the correct spelling.

A council spokesperson said, “These war memorials and others remain a powerful memorial and a focal point for remembrance and are much treasured by so many.  In recognition that this is a sensitive topic, we wanted to let local residents know what was happening and potentially include other names on an addendum plaque if it was appropriate to do so.  We are hoping to install the new plaque relatively quickly but particularly to avoid adding additional names to the memorial after this, if anyone knows of other amendments which should be made, please get in touch.”

The council is inviting Bromley residents to come forward if they are aware of other misspellings on these or any other war memorials so that the council can look into making any further amendments that may be required. It is considered important that changes to any war memorials are kept to a minimum so as to retain their visual integrity.

Any addendum plaques added to the existing war memorials would remain in-keeping with the design, being minimal in size and using appropriate colouring and materials.


Editor’s notes –

  1. The Beckenham War Memorial is located at the roundabout in Rectory Road and Croydon Road, Beckenham, Kent, BR3.  This war memorial commemorates the men and women of Beckenham who lost their lives in two World Wars. It was unveiled on Sunday 24 July 1921 by former Sergeant Bert Hanscombe, D.C.M., M.M., a local council employee (dustman) and one of 9 brothers who fought in and survived the First World War.  The memorial was designed by Mr. Newbury A. Trent, R.B.S., is approximately 7.5 metres high, and is a rectangular white Portland stone column. At the summit is a broad Celtic cross, enriched on one side in high relief with an equestrian figure of St. George slaying the legendary dragon (symbolic of the destruction of evil) and on the reverse side the Phoenix rising from its own ashes (symbolic of immortality).
  2. The West Wickham War Memorial is located in Corkscrew Hill, West Wickham, BR4.  This memorial when first unveiled was in the High Street of West Wickham near Sherwood Avenue and relocated to its current in 1939, just at the start of the Second World War, when it was re-dedicated by the Bishop of Croydon on 22nd December 1939.

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