Annual Boer War Commemoration in Wigan

Boer War Memorial Wreath Mesnes Park 18

The Friends of Wigan’s Boer War Memorial recently held their first wreath-laying ceremony since the new statue was erected in Mesnes Park, Wigan. The original statue was designed by the eminent sculptor, Sir William Goscombe John. It was erected and unveiled in 1903 in memory of those Wigan soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the conflict. It was removed by Wigan Council in 1968 due to damage through air pollution and vandalism as it was felt to be unsafe. However, the marble plinth on which the original statue stood survived and remained in its original place until December 2013 when a new monument, funded through efforts by The Friends and B (DLOY) Sqn QOY (formerly D Sqn RMLY), was placed upon it.

This first wreath-laying ceremony to be conducted since the erection of the new statue attracted a number of dignitaries which included: the Mayor of Wigan, Cllr Phyllis Cullen; Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Wing Commander David Forbes; MP for Wigan, Lisa Nandy; and, John O’Neil, Chairman Friends of Wigan’s Boer War Memorial. Other attendees included members of the Royal British Legion and Reservists from Wigan-based B (DLOY) Sqn QOY.

Col Frank Hewitt TD, Honorary Colonel of B (DLOY) Sqn QOY, opened the proceedings by welcoming all those present. He gave a very informative speech about the Boer War, which included a special homage to all those who fought in it and the efforts of those who helped raise sufficient funds for this new statue. Following his speech, Reverend Ray Hutchinson provided a short service with prayers before the dignitaries in turn laid wreaths at the base of the memorial. The event concluded with Col Hewitt thanking everyone for their attendance and continued support, which was in memory of all those who gave their lives during this particular campaign.

Reserve Forces