It is with great regret I find myself once again having to write about Ilkeston’s World War One and Two memorials.
The first time was for need of the memorial to be cleaned from vandalism.
But I am contacting the paper again after reading the article in the ‘Tiser on Brenda Booth’s father Arthur Cyril Wright, with reference to the name misspelling on the memorial.
I must say the comments by Mr Sankey, director of resources and deputy chief executive, are, in my view, totally disconnected with the public view on this matter.
With not only historians like myself but even more so the family this affects.
The comment that “however, cenotaphs, war memorials and other World War One rolls of honour are seen – on a national level, not just in Erewash – as historical documents Ilkeston Cenotaph would compromise its historical integrity”, is a poor excuse.
Not to correct an inaccurate piece of history in the form of a memorial shows no respect to the aforementioned soldier at all. In fact it shows denial within the council by the very person whose roll it is to upkeep such documents for public records, I say.
I suggest that if more study time was spent on the soldiers’ names being spelt correctly in the first place and council money was better used in other areas like our food banks rather than employing unnecessary ‘pomp and ceremony posts’ within the council, such as a mace bearer to cost £17,000 salary or the payment of increased allowances for a non-elected mayor who does not bring any proven added value, in my opinion, to Ilkeston. These cost savings would create an excess of funds out of which this important historical monument to the soldiers could be kept clean and any errors in the spelling of our war dead names could become an easily achieved priority.
Having an inaccurate record of a soldier justified by thinking that in many generations from now may not be known, is poor excuse form the council.
This particular council employee, whose salary is paid by local residents, would rather spend his time at a full council meeting correcting spelling mistakes on documents as trivial as minutes?
It is my opinion that his salary should be justified to all the residents in EREWASH to not only amend this disgraceful error but also for the relief of the family involved and to ensure public records are accurate.
May I also remind this council employee to make note that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, on a regular basis, changes its roll of honour to war dead due to new information coming to light. Are we in Erewash behind the times or is it just a money matter?
Mr Sankey’s second comment that “this council will always treat its historical documents and monuments with great respect” in my view is not correct.
Please, therefore, correct the spelling, get it right and for once make right the choice for the people in Erewash who will require you to write out a small cheque in the payment for a new plaque as it is clearly needed.
Paul C. Brett