Heckmondwike War Memorial
War memorials are a significant feature of the British landscape. They sprang up in the aftermath of the First World War (The Great War) and there is hardly a city, town or village that is not without its tribute to those who gave their lives. In the absence of a funeral and a final resting place at home, memorials acted as a place for people to remember those who had died.
In March 1920 the local ratepayers of Heckmondwike had resolved to erect a monument to the fallen of their town, commission a Roll of Honour to be placed in the town library listing the names of all who had served and also purchase a building to be used as a nurses’ and maternity home.
The War Memorial
The War Memorial is situated in Green Park in the town centre. It is in the shape of a cross resting on an octagonal four tier base. It was decided that the monument should be made out of Scotch Granite with the names in leaded letters. Commissioned from Wright and Sons of Bradford, it cost six hundred and ninety nine pounds and ten shillings.
The unveiling ceremony took place on Saturday 27th May 1922 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
There are now 157 men from the Great War named on the base with the later addition of 57 men from the Second World War and one from the conflict in Korea.
The Heckmondwike Roll of Honour
The Roll of Honour and the large glass topped oak display cabinet in which it is still kept in the library were the work of C. Pratt and Sons of Bradford. The original order specified that “Only best English Gold Leaf for illuminating guilt edging, finishing, lettering and guilt dividing lines” was to be used and the book's pages were to be made from vellum. The total cost was one hundred and seventeen pounds.
About 1,350 names and addresses of local men who had served were entered, written in permanent black ink.
Facsimile copies of the Roll of Honour were presented to the next of kin, with the remainder being sold for one shilling each. One thousand copies were produced.