Celebrations as town’s new war memorial is unveiled

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Whitby’s new war memorial was unveiled on Saturday before a 300-strong crowd of people who turned out to its opening ceremony.

The memorial at Dock End sits on a sandstone base and is topped by a column of granite from Norway where the Green Howards - now the Yorkshire Regiment - served in the Second World War.

War memorial unveiling at Endeavour wharf''w132402a

War memorial unveiling at Endeavour wharf''w132402a

Air and army cadets from Whitby pulled off a camoflauge cover hiding the memorial from view to the sound of a drum roll, as those who stood watching, cheered as it was revealed.

Four standard bearers represented Whitby Air Training Corps, the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA), the Royal British Legion and the Royal Engineers while representatives were also present from the Yorkshire Regiment.

Canon Reverend David Smith blessed the memorial which was followed by the sounding of The Last Post, a minutes silence and two poignant readings.

Town mayor Coun John Freeman told the crowd in a speech he was very proud to be representing Whitby Town Council as they presented the war memorial to the people of Whitby.

He said: “After being guided through various legal and planning issues by our town clerk Pam Dobson, worked commenced rather closer to our projected finish date than we would have liked but the craftsmen’s reassurances were well founded and today we have a symbol of the town’s respect for all those we have lost protecting our freedom.”

After Coun Freeman’s speech, wreaths were laid by dignitaries including Whitby’s MP Robert Goodwill, the Yorkshire Regiment and families of the Whitby soldiers.

Speaking after the ceremony he told the Whitby Gazette: “It’s tremendous, I can’t thank the donors and the craftsmen that have put it together in such a short time enough.

“The workmanship and dedication to getting it done to the community opening day was amazing.

“The final result is lovely, I’m really pleased with it.”

A flag pole has also been erected at Dock End near the war memorial where flags can be flown at various times of the year while a much fuller information board recording the names of all those who helped make the memorial a reality will also be placed near the memorial in the future.

The town council has also purchased a treatment for the war memorial so that it will discourage seagulls from perching on it.

Log onto our website at www.whitbygazette.co.uk to see more pictures from the ceremony and turn to page 19 for more reaction on our letters page.