Leeds nostalgia: Headginley War Memorial to be cleaned and ‘missing’ name added, after long campaign

Date:30th November 2009.
Headingley War Memorial.

Date:30th November 2009. Headingley War Memorial.

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The grandson of a First World War soldier who lost his life in March 1918 has won a battle to have his name added to Headingley War Memorial.

Graham Wright had known for some time that the name of his grandfather had been accidently missed off the memorial, which at present carries the name of R A Wright. However, Graham’s grandfather was simply R Wright. It is thought when the brass plaques were originally drawn up, sign writers accidently missed got the two names confused.

Date:30th November 2009.
Headingley War Memorial.

Date:30th November 2009. Headingley War Memorial.

But getting his name added to the Grade II listed structure was easier said than done, not least because several agencies, including English Heritage, Leeds City Council and the War Memorials Trust had to be contacted.

After months of wrangling, however, a solution has now been agreed which will mean the name of Sapper Reginald Wright, will be officially added to the memorial during a special ceremony on April 2.

Graham said: “There will at last be a recognition of my grandfathers sacrifice along with others already on the cenotaph at St Michael’s Church, Headingley. It has been a long and convoluted exercise but it has been worth it. At first, I thought my grandfather had been given an additional initial but I subsequently discovered Sergeant R A Wright of The Royal Warwickshire Regiment was rightfully on the memorial but my grandfather wasn’t. At that stage I thought my goals had been shattered until moves to bring about a rectification.”

He praised Leeds City Council and, in particular, Coun Al Garthwaite (Lab, Headingley), said: “Thanks to the hard work of council officers and others we came up with a solution.”

She first spotted Graham’s letter in the YEP. She said a number of solutions were proposed before one was decided upon - the cost of the cleaning and the missing name being added will be £6,000.

As a result of Graham’s intervention, the war memorial is also due to be cleaned before the unveiling ceremony.

Leeds nostalgia: Fighting at home and abroad... in May 1917