War memorial mystery solved by church school children

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Gunner Richard Southworth died in 1920, after the memorial was commissioned and installed in the village. But his name was never added alongside those of his comrades from Mawdesley who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Pupils at St Peter’s CofE school were working towards the Archbishop of York’s Young Leaders Award when they discovered Gunner Southworth’s story.

 

 

Headteacher Daniel Ballard told Premier: “The pupils began their year by thinking about the centenary of the Armistice and the Great War. They welcomed guest speakers who spoke of the conditions and the suffering of the soldiers; visited the graveyard around St Peter’s Church and also the War Memorial in the village. They also tidied the war graves and left appropriate memorial decorations to commemorate the acts of sacrifice.

“Back in the classroom, and spurred on by class teacher Heidi Jackson, they turned detective and began to investigate why some soldiers were interred in the graveyard but not named on the village war memorial.”

The eleven and twelve-year-olds worked alongside the Royal British Legion and the Parish Council which had received a grant to have the war memorial cleaned and refurbished.

The Royal British Legion discovered that Gunner Richard Southworth was wounded in the 1914-1918 conflict and died not long after, on 12th July 1920, aged 35.

Richard was married to Amelia Southworth and the…

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