The Tunstall War Memorial - The New Memorial Wall

The New Memorial Wall

The Memorial Wall commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made by over 600 Tunstall men and women in the two World Wars.

The six towns of Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton, and Longton were combined as a Federation in 1910 and in 1925 united to become the City of Stoke on Trent. Tunstall is the northernmost of the six towns and up to the 12th of September 2009 it had no named war memorial for all our war dead. There were memorials in some of the local churches at that time, but as the churches and chapels were demolished all but for three of the memorials have been lost over the years.

The research for names started in 1996 and is still going on to this day. In 2006 an elected committee wasTunstall Memorial Wall formed from some of the local families whose relatives had died in WW1 and WW2, and other conflicts, to raise funds for a named Memorial. The group was named ‘The Friends of the Tunstall and District War Memorial’ and after three years we raised £10,000 towards the cost of the build. We held regular open meetings at the Sneyd Arms Hotel in Tunstall, so anyone from the public could come along and express their opinions. The group also produced a news letter for those that were interested. Local businesses and the people of Tunstall also the surrounding areas gave us great support.

The planning of the Memorial project was taken over by the City Council but the group still had a large input and held regular meetings with the Council Architect Mr John Lawrence, Project Manager Mrs Linda Tweats, the Ward Councillor Lee Wanger and other council officials. There was a choice of three designs for the memorial and the people of Tunstall chose the one that we have. A few issues arose on the siting of the memorial and the Council's conservation department about the type of of brick and colour but with perseverance and determination by all parties, we had our official unveiling on Saturday September 12th 2009, in the presence and acceptance by H.M. Lord Lieutenant on behalf of the County of Staffordshire and the Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Stoke–on-Trent.

Before the official ceremony, the British Legion standard bearers, the veterans and other organisations gathered in the Ryan Hall which is situated close to the Memorial Gardens for refreshments before the muster parade. It was a perfect sunny day and the parade marched around the town led by the pipes and drums of the Black Watch Association. On arrival in the Memorial Gardens started it was estimated that there were 500 people or more with the local press and the BBC recording the event.

The day’s eventsTunstall Memorial Wall were also recorded on film by Professor Ray Johnson, a lecturer at the Staffordshire University and his team. The DVDs of the event sold for £5 each, of which he donated £3 from each sale towards the charity of choice, the rest being for materials from the university. All monies collected from the sale of the DVD`s and other fund raising events totalled some £350.00 which was sent to the Patient Support Services at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at the Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, from whom a letter of thanks was received .

The Memorial Wall Committee
Mr. Doug Green - chairman
Cllr. Peter Kent Baguley – treasurer.
Mrs. Margaret Sadler- secretary.
Mr. Ray Cope - researcher.
Mrs. June Cope.
Cllr. Lee Wanger.
Mr. Ken Perkins.
Mr. Peter Hall.
Mrs. Barbara Byrne.
Mr. Paul Brant – co-researcher
Mr. John Collins.
Mr. John Lawrence – City Council Architect.
Mrs. Linda Tweats – City Council Project Manager.