A COUNCIL committee will be advised to approve adding a First World War soldier’s name to Castlewellan’s War Memorial.
A report being presented to the Strategy, Policy and Resources (SPR) Committee notes that a request has been received from the nephew of a serviceman from the town who was killed in action in Flanders on 10 April 1918. Whilst the soldier is not named in the report, records of Castlewellan’s Great War dead confirm that Private Adam Lamb of the 8th Battalion of the Border Regiment died on that date, and that he is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium.
A committee report highlights that 1923 local government legislation gives ‘council the power to maintain, repair, protect and light war memorials within the district, whether vested or not’, and that ‘these are discretionary powers’. ‘Council is also permitted to incur reasonable expenditure in the alteration of any war memorial to make it serve as a memorial, in connection with which it was erected and in the correction of any error or omission in the inscription on any such memorial,’ it continues. ‘Traditionally, council has carried out repair works to war memorials, replaced names missing from war memorials, added additional names upon request, organised power washing and painted surrounding railings. ‘Requests to add additional names are rare, the last one being back in 2021.’ It is also stated that there are ‘no formal criteria laid down nationally that cover the names to be included on a war memorial’, which generally contain the names of those killed in the two World Wars and the Korean War. The report confirms that the request meets council’s criteria ‘with supporting evidence provided in relation to the birthplace, service and death details of the deceased’. ‘There is sufficient space on the current war memorial in Castlewellan to add the additional name, but consent will be required from Libraries NI to undertake the inscription work as the war memorial is attached to the library building,’ it concludes.
The document recommends that the local authority accede to this request, subject to consent being obtained from Libraries NI. It is estimated that the cost to council will not exceed £250, and that this could be taken from the general maintenance budget.