Royal Mail 1st World War
Memorial Mystery Solved
week we ran a report asking for help tracking
down a 1st World War Memorial to a Postman from Southport. After an extensive
search for information we have managed to get the information our reader
Peter Roberts contacted us about his grandfather, Robert Johnson, who was a
postman in Southport, before he enlisted in June 1916. After he went through
training he was placed with the Royal Garrison Artillery, Siege Battery, known
as:- "the big guns," which stayed behind the front lines pounding
the enemy. Conditions for them were grim and as a result he sadly died, on 25
March 1917. He was buried in a War Graves Cemetery in Northern France. As it was
the 100th Centenary of his death, Peter decided to find out more about his
Peter discovered out that before the war, Robert had lived on Railway Street,
Southport and had left behind his wife, Janet and 5 children, upon his death.
Peter then found out that unfortunately his wife soon after died, leaving the
children orphans. Thanks to Chris Baker, at Fourteen-Eighteen
Research, the WW1 British Army records
research and advisory services; Peter managed to obtain some of his Army
records, that included his photo, Enlistment Form and Cemetery Register. Some
records were lost in World War 2 bombing, so this made him want to find out
more? He found out that a WW1 memorial to Robert was located within St Pauls
Church of England Church, but it had been relocated to the main Southport Post
Office. However that to had closed and the trail became cold. Peter then
contacted us with the hopes of locating the memorial, saying that: - "It
would be greatly appreciated by the Johnson family and particularly the
surviving grandchildren to know more."
Armed with the information he had sent us we
took on the task to track down more information, to see what happened to the
plaque following the closure of the Crown Counters Building, on Lord Street.
With the help of Royal Mail's Julie Pirone, we have discovered that the memorial
does indeed still exist and is now located within the Customer Enquiry Office,
in the new Southport Delivery Office.
Spokesperson for Royal Mail, Julie Pirone, said: - "The Royal Mail has an
online database of around 250 war memorials that are in its care, commemorating
those who served in the wars. Many of the company's memorials were established
after the wars, and feature the names of postal staff who fought for their
country. We are proud to continue to mark the dedication of our fallen former
employees. Many of these war memorials are in areas to which the public has
access, such as the Reception Areas within a Delivery Office."
Julie Pirone has also kindly sent us these
photographs of the memorial that shows Mr Johnson is named on it.
It is worth noting that the Royal Mail
database can be seen
online. The website provides searchable
information about each individual memorial. Members of the public wishing to
visit other memorials can contact sites directly, to see if special arrangements
can be made.
A special Remembrance Service is usually held annually for each memorial, at
around 11 November.
But we can also say that we have now got more information coming in about Robert
Johnson that we are going to pass on to Peter along with the photos kindly sent
to us by Julie Pirone.
If you have any information about Robert Johnson or if you want information
about your relatives from Merseyside area, who were lost in WW1, please do let
us know, via emailing us to:-
News24@SouthportReporter.com. We will do our
best to pass on contacts that will help you find out more about your relative.
It is good to know that a 100 years on, their sacrifice is still being