Page 186 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-II

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CHAPTER VI
THE COMMEMORATION OF THE FALLEN AND THE CARE
OF THE SURVIVORS AND OF THE DEPENDENTS
INTRODUCTION
FOR many generations it has been the pious custom to commemorate
in some visible form those who have given their lives for their
country. In the days when wars involved comparatively small
numbers, local and regimental memorials commonly bore the names
of those in whose honour they were erected; but, as the war of
I9I4-I9I8 drew into the Forces of the Crown such a large proportion
of the manhood of the country and as its unexpected nature, with
prolonged trench warfare, heavy and lengthy bombardments and
frontal attacks by large numbers, brought in its train casualties of a
severity hitherto undreamt of, few of its memorials could be large
enough to carry all the names concerned. The honouring of the
individual had perforce to be transferred from stone to paper except
for single units, limited groups or small places.
The inscription of all the names of the I3,642 fallen of the Regi–
ment on a stone memorial would moreover have been much more
costly than their inclusion in a printed roll of honour. A change in
public opinion on the debt owed to those who had fought and to their
dependents led to a conviction that it was wrong to spend unduly
large sums of money on stone and brass but that the honouring of
the dead should mainly take the form of conferring some practical
benefit on the living.
For these reasons it was decided that the Regiment's War
Memorial should have the twofold object of commemorating its
glorious dead and of being a practical tribute to its deeds. The
memorial consisted of an obelisk placed at the entrance to Wellington
Barracks, at Bury; of bound Rolls of Honour containing the names
of all the fallen; a set of silver drums and bugles; and a cheque to
the Lancashire Fusiliers Compassionate Fund.
It
was inaugurated
at the Depot at Wellington Barracks, Bury, on 25th April, I922.
The arrangements for carrying the scheme into effect were in the
hands of a small executive committee under the chainnanship of the
late Colonel G. E . Wike, V.D., D.L., an indefatigable and invaluable
worker for many years in all regimental causes, to whom further
reference
will
be made in later pages of this chapter. In addition,
some battalions of the Regiment put up their own or were specially
honoured in local memorials .
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