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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-31-03

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page

 

Royal Mail 1st World War Memorial Mystery Solved

 

LAST 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 requested.

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 relation.

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.

Click on to see a larger copy of this picture...

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 remembered today.

 

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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder


  


 

 

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