Planning application for memorial to remember Dagenham’s wardead handed in to council
- Credit: Archant
Campaigners trying to get Dagenham’s forgotten war dead immortalised with a new memorial in Eastbrookend Cemetery have handed in a planning application to the council.
It was discovered that around 36 Second World War veterans - the exact number is yet to be confirmed - have been found buried in the cemetery who did not have their names on the borough’s only monument, which is in Barking Park.
If the council approve the plans £12,500 needs to be raised to pay for the memorial’s construction.
Campaigner Sam Dear said: “We are taught from a young age ‘lest we forget,’ and this is actually a time to prove yourself.
“There is a guy buried in the cemetery who is not remembered anywhere. Our memorial can change that.
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“We will remember them and they will always be remembered in Dagenham.”
Retired engineer Dave Rose, who helped start the campaign in 2016, said he is “delighted” with the progress that has been made.
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He initially spotted the graves of the soldiers when visiting his wife’s grave, which is in the same cemetery.
“When I saw all the war graves it really touched my heart,” he said.
“I just hope that people realise that these soldiers gave their life for us.”
Pat Harding, who Dave said has been instrumental in the campaign, paid tribute to the Post’s coverage of the issue, saying the exposure helped them realise their target.
The campaign has also been supported by Peter Harris, the former Ukip parliamentary candidate who recently defected to the Conservatives.
He has said he is “extremely positive” about the planning application’s chances of being approved.
“It is hugely important so that people can pay their respects,” he said.
Mr Harris, who is making a contribution himself, is appealing for members of Barking and Dagenham’s business community and members of the public to donate to help fund the project.
It is hoped that once the memorial is constructed the Royal British Legion will attend a special service in remembrance of the contributions made by the Dagenham soldiers.