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stock, essex


john w.
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Ok got a conundrum....

I went to my parish council meeting tonight, and was told that the parish council has nothing to do with the war memorial as it was paid for by public subscription.

Who is then responsible please? Any ideas? Where can I find out?

John

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John

I declare an interest here. I am Chairman of our local parish council (which is not to be confused with a parochial church council - which deals with church matters) and we 'own' the local war memorial.

Our memorial was erected by public subscription and was in the care of the church for many years. In 1960 it was transeferred to the ownership of the civil parish council along with the church land upon which it stood as the parochial parish council and diocese authorities no longer wanted the cost of maintenance.

Therefore, as we now own it, the parish council cares for it. However, if the ownership had been uncertain, local authorities including civil parish councils have the legal right to expend money on the maintenance of war memorials. Ownership should not come into it unless there is a specific private owner (unlikely).

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Guest Pete Wood

John, perhaps you might like to tell us why you approached the parish council to find out who owns it. I don't think this is to do with maintenance/cleaning is it....??

I mean this questioning in a nice way. Because there are organisations such as Friends Of War Memorials who will get involved if there is a maintenance issue, and when no one will take responsibility.

Aren't you looking at adding something to your memorial....??

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It has become a bit of a point in principle. From when I flagged up the issue to now, neither parish council or RBL have replied to the question of updating the memorial.

It seems that the PC are not really that interested in the issue and the one thing I really dont want to get is a letter that tells me .. 'It was all a long time ago'

Since March we have a developed a virtual memorial as you may remember, which does carry those from the area who died in both World Wars. In the last few months the number of hits have risen which is very pleasing.

The memorial is alive via the website and not just a piece of stone that people drive by every day and not given a second glance.

John

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John

I think you're right to pursue it and I wish you well. Letters cast in stone should always be a longer lasting monument that this transient Internet thing. Who knows what technology will be around in 80 years time, but the village memorial will almost certainly still be there as it has for the last 80-odd.

John

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John

I don't have the chapter and verse to hand just now, but the whole matter of Parish Councils and War Memorials hinges on the fact that they MAY use funds for memorial maintenance and not (as many assume) that they SHALL maintain memorials. It is immaterial by whom, or how, it was provided in the first place.

My experience would suggest that the best way forward is to make reasoned approaches to individual members over a period. If they are persuaded then they may agree to make some provision in a following year's estimates. One 'friend' on the Council can be worth a deal of agitation from outside!

I know of a case where a Council has adopted an entrenched 'anti'-position in this regard because of one parishioner's beligerent insistence that it is the Council's responsibility.

If time permits today I will find the rules and regs to refer to.

Kind regards

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John

The National Association of Local Councils are the people to give the definitive answers on Parish Coucill matters.

However, this the relevant piece:

War memorials: Power to maintain, repairs, protect and adapt war memorials War Memorials (Local Authorities' Powers) Act 1923, s.1; as extended by Local Government Act 1948, s.133

For quick reference the following site lists a PC's powers and responsibilities:

http://freewebhosting.hostdepartment.com/t...thpc/powers.htm

Take heart, John, a lot can be achieved in this direction with the right approach. Our local War Memorial is in superb condition - refurbished by the Parish Council and day to day upkeep by the Royal British Legion.

Kind regards

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Guest Pete Wood

John, people are helping you here - in the belief that this is a maintenance issue.

Maybe I'm wrong, but aren't you trying to add a name (to the memorial) of a soldier who was executed....??

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John

You could always stand for election to the Parish Council and work from the inside!

Seriously - Chris has pointed at the correct regulations but the warning that these only give the right to maintain war memorials and not an obligation must always be borne in mind.

Personally, I have never come across a PC that is totally against stepping in but I am sure that they must exist. It would be a good idea to find out where each individual councillor stands on the subject and so learn each of their objections.

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The following extract is taken from the FAQs page of the Friends of War Memorials website.

Who is responsible for War Memorial maintenance?

Responsibility for War Memorial upkeep usually rests with the war memorials' owner. However, ownership is not always easy to establish - particularly, for example, in cases where a village war memorial was funded by public subscription and put up on donated land by an ad hoc committee that dissolved itself once the work was completed. Ownership may have been formally handed over to a war memorial trust or a local secular or ecclesiastical authority, but often there was simply an assumption that the war memorial would be cared for. A war memorial in a churchyard may therefore be the shared responibility of the Parish Council and Parochial Church Council - or the Local Council's responsibility.

However, under the War Memorials (Local Authorities Powers) Act of 1923, (amended 1948), local councils are empowered to carry out maintenance, repair and protection of war memorials in their area, whether vested in them or not and to incur reasonable expenditure for this purpose. Local councils are also empowered to correct any error or omission in the inscription on any such memorial. This legislation is permissive rather than conferring any obligation on the council though.

In other words, one can’t oblige the council to do anything, but the council can’t decline on the grounds that it has no powers. It has, and those powers do extend to changing or adding names.

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Loads of info there thanks...

Just to put the record straight

I asked the PC to update the memorial as there are some missing and some misspelt. They declined which is fair enough, hence the creation of the virtual memorial on the stock website, that can be changed.

It is a matter of principle to get to the bottom of who looks after the memorial as I dont think it has been raised since the memorial went up in 1920. This is for the future of the village memorial.

In researching the names as I am sure many people have found, there are mistakes and mispellings and so on. Maybe memorial should stay as it is and then we create an alternative which is up to date, who knows? only time will tell.

My other concern is for those tracing relatives, the names have to be correct as far as possible or the true identity can be lost forever.. e. g I have an Arthur Nevill on the memorial and he is spelt Nevill and Neville, if you are trying to get any certificate then it will be refused for not being spellt correctly.

Today in our parish magazine there is a letter from someone trying to complete their family tree. The relative is Robert Carpenter, he is on the Stock memorial as Robert John Carpenter and on the Buttsbury memorial as John Carpenter and in the 1901 Census as John Carpenter. I will contact the relative to get the definitive version and then put that on the virtual memorial.

Finally RT....

John, people are helping you here - in the belief that this is a maintenance issue.

Maybe I'm wrong, but aren't you trying to add a name (to the memorial) of a soldier who was executed....??

The inference there I am afraid is totally incorrect, Archibald Browne was from Ingatestone, the next village to us and I am currently working with the Historical Society and indirectly with the WFA in the creation of a new war memorial, as they dont have one.

So I am afraid RT you are totally wrong, all my work has been totally above board. In fact the Historical Society didnt know he was executed until I told them!

I hope that sets the record straight for everyone, and I do appreciate the information given and I will pass that on at the next PC meeting and see what transpires.

John

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Guest Pete Wood
The inference there I am afraid is totally incorrect, Archibald Browne was from Ingatestone, the next village to us and I am currently working with the Historical Society and indirectly with the WFA in the creation of a new war memorial, as they dont have one.

So I am afraid RT you are totally wrong, all my work has been totally above board. In fact the Historical Society didnt know he was executed until I told them!

John, I was sure I have an email from you saying that you had been trying to get Browne's name added to the memorial. This previous thread is probably what confused me further http://1914-1918.org/forum/index.php?showt...d%20browne&st=0

The information at the bottom of the Stock website also gave me a different impression http://www.stock.org.uk/history/ww1/index.htm

Obviously I am wrong, and for that I apologise.

So Ingatestone is (was if you achieve your aim) a blessed village....??

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... It is a matter of principle to get to the bottom of who looks after the memorial as I dont think it has been raised since the memorial went up in 1920. This is for the future of the village memorial. ...

It is worth asking permission to look through council minutes of the period. They should still exist.

I did this for Southborough in Kent and although records were sparse, I did find a minute noting that the council had agreed to assume responsibility for the memorial. This was in response to a request from the Hon. Secretary of the War Memorial Committee. This took place in 1921, only eight months after the dedication. The pattern at Southborough was that the council was being contacted about a memorial by local citizens as early as 1916. By December 1918, the council was facilitating local meetings concerning a memorial. Thereafter matters seem to have passed into the hands of a War Memorial Committee.

I believe this sequence is quite typical.

It is also worth looking in the minutes and the local newspapers for WWII events. This will show which body thought itself responsible for the memorial at that time.

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Clive

The thought had crossed my mind as there are WW2 entries. Will begin reserach soon!!

John

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Pete

He has been removed from the Stock memorial list and only appears on Ingatestone and Fryerning. Problem solved

John

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