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Additional WW1 names at Llandudno

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For four years I have been researching the First World War names on the Llandudno War Memorial – these names are also reflected on the Marble Tablets in the Memorial Chapel of Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno. Being dedicated two years later than the War Memorial, the Memorial Chapel has five extra names.


I discovered that there are up to 16 names missing from the War Memorial (11 from the Memorial Chapel). These additional names, just like the original names, have variable association with the town. Some are indisputable whilst others are less so.


Some months ago, I suggested to the Llandudno Town Council that this would be an ideal year to add the names to the War Memorial in some way. I submitted all 16 names for the decision was up to the Town Council, the successor to the Llandudno War Memorial Committee.


Initially all 16 names were rejected, either because the names were already on local war memorials (such as the additional five in Holy Trinity Church), that the men were not killed in action during the war, and that links to the town were tentative.


This wasn’t the reaction I expected because the Town Council is usually very good in the matter of Veterans’ Affairs, the RBL, Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday. In the event the matter was reconsidered and, somewhat grudgingly, two names were accepted.


I have since pointed out that even using their somewhat restrictive eligibility criteria, then another two names should have been accepted for both were born in Llandudno, both were killed in action, and both have not been discovered on any other war memorials anywhere.


I have also pointed out that the restrictions that the Town Council imposed are contrary to the intentions of the original War Memorial Committee. Sadly, the minutes of the War Memorial Committee are missing, but it is clearly obvious that the intention was to commemorate all Llandudno (i.e. those with a connection within the then Llandudno Urban District) men who died because of the war with equality and in perpetuity, not just those killed in action. Indeed, there are 20 names on the War Memorial of men who died after the Armistice, the last being on 21 March 1921. And I cannot understand why a name being in Holy Trinity Church, somehow absolves the obligation for the name to be commemorated on the town’s main Civic Memorial.


Fifteen of the 16 names are recorded by CWGC and it seems very odd that a serviceman can be remembered by the nation but not by his local community.


In my own estimation, 10 of the 16 names are rock solid or solid. One I discount because, though he is CWGC-registered, he died accidentally after discharge. No doubt the War Grave Commission inspectors made an error when researching graves in Llanrhos Churchyard. The other five names fall between the two extremes though I am pretty sure that most would have been accepted at the time, had they been submitted.


I was told that the Council would follow the recommendations of the War Memorials Trust, but this does not seem to have happened. Firstly, a recommendation to respect the intentions of the original committee (all local men by name with equality). Secondly, the proposed actions should have been put out for public consultation. The proposed action is to put an additional plaque in the Memorial Garden adjacent to the War Memorial.


“… they [] also discussed that there might be further names World War II or other subsequent conflicts worthy of consideration, that the sacrifice or all who had been injured or affected was worthy of remembering, and that there would be merit in an appropriate Memorial to reflect this.


“Council, therefore, further resolved that the proposed plaque record not only the two names [], but to include the addition of appropriate wording and a design to encompass remembering all from Llandudno that were and have been involved with all wars.”


No doubt this is proposed with good intent. However, the Town Council seems to have forgotten what happened in 2003 when the name of Llewelyn Evans was added to the memorial itself. He had been killed in Iraq. I am not too sure how the family and friends of other servicemen killed in future conflicts would react if told that there was a “generic” memorial close by. I cannot understand why two names can be added and not all those who qualify by any reasonable judgement.


I suspect the reasoning may be because there are those who cannot bring themselves to admit that the initial trawl of names was imperfect. I have certainly never implied criticism here since the situation was so fluid for reasons we all know very well. If Stalybridge can add 200 names, then why cannot Llandudno add a dozen or so?


I sound like child which has lost its rattle sometimes. Perhaps it is me who is being unreasonable. I would appreciate some wise counsel.



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In respect of the civic memorial surely it's generic intent would be to commemorate all, if various groups then decided to recognise specific sub-sets then that is their choice but to submit a civic memorial to the whims of others is surely not a justifiable course of action.



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