To commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War, housebuilder Bellway Homes has facilitated the installation of a war memorial on the site of its Mallory Park development on Ingleborough Road in Tranmere.
Formerly the memorial playing fields of Birkenhead Institute, the playing field is of historical significance as it commemorated the 88 former pupils from the school, including famous war poet Wilfred Owen, who lost their lives while fighting for their Country between 1914 and 1918.
Unveiled by former Birkenhead Institute ‘Old Boy’ Dick Bell, along with the Mayor of Wirral Cllr Geoffrey Watt and Bellway Homes’ managing director David Williams, the memorial takes the form of an all-weather information board featuring text and images that explain its important connection to historical events and has retained a section of the original railings that formed the site perimeter.
A poignant poem entitled ‘Field of Dreams’ written by Dick takes pride of place on the board, and the 98-year-old planted a tree in memory of the lives that were lost, originally symbolised by 88 trees planted around the perimeter of the playing field after the war.
Former Old Boy, Alun Hughes, assisted with the unveiling. He commented: “Given the historical significance of the site, it was important to install a memorial and we are grateful to Bellway for fulfilling its promise to provide one. This morning has been a time for reflection and remembrance and we are thrilled that Dick was able to be with us to officially unveil the plaque and significantly plant a new tree in remembrance.”
Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Geoffrey Watt added: “The Birkenhead Institute is very well known locally, and almost everyone knows someone who attended the school or used the playing fields for leisure or recreation. It’s wonderful to be able to recognise their local importance in this way.”
Bellway Homes’ managing director David Williams said: “We were delighted to facilitate the community request for a memorial and have also named two roads at the development in honour of those who lost their lives in service; Memorial Drive and Archway Road. It was a privilege to be here today and stand alongside Dick for the unveiling.”
As a memento and thank you for his service and help with the unveiling, a mini version of the information board was presented to Dick by David, Alun, Cllr Watt and other members of the Old Boy Alumni.
With Mallory Park now build complete, Bellway is working on a further development of high quality three and four bedroom homes at Kings Hill in Bromborough. Prices start from £184,995. For further information please call 0151 645 7142 or visit www.bellway.co.uk.