Historian leads bid to have Neyland soldier remembered on town Cenotaph

Historian leads bid to have Neyland soldier remembered on town Cenotaph

LEST WE FORGET: Cllr Hancock wants to add Benjamin Halliday's name to Neyland war memorial. PICTURE: Milford Mercury (3685936)

LEST WE FORGET: Cllr Hancock wants to add Benjamin Halliday's name to Neyland war memorial. PICTURE: Milford Mercury (3685942)

First published in News

A NEYLAND historian is hoping to commemorate the town’s first casualty of the First World War by adding his name to the local Cenotaph.

Local councillor and historian Simon Hancock is asking the people of Neyland to back plans to add soldier Benjamin Halliday’s name to the war memorial, almost 100 years after his death.

Halliday went to school in Neyland in the late 1800s, before working as a journalist and then joining the King’s Regiment.

He returned to the town in March 1915, and died of his wounds in August that year. But despite being buried in Honeyborough Cemetery, his name never made it on to the Cenotaph.

“He was really the first fatality in Neyland of the Great War,” said Cllr Hancock.

He added that newspapers of the time said Halliday’s death brought home ‘the scale of the Armageddon of the Great War’.

Unveiled in 1930 by Neyland Improvement Association, the memorial was originally sited on the promenade, moving to its current site in 1937.

“For some extraordinary reason Halliday’s name was missed off,” said Cllr Hancock.

“He died and his name should be on the war memorial.

“It’s been 100 hundred years overlooked,” he added.

Cllr Hancock has already agreed the proposal with Neyland Town Council and Pembrokeshire County Council, which manages the memorial, and is now inviting the community to get in touch with their views.

If it goes ahead, Cllr Hancock hopes the work will be funded by the Town Council, but has said he is ‘prepared to pay the rest from his own pocket’ if necessary.

“I feel very strongly about this,” he added.

Cllr Hancock has spent seven years studying the First World War and how it affected those at home.

His research has included the role of women, transport, food, and propaganda in Pembrokeshire’s war effort.

Comments can be emailed to townclerk@neyland.org.uk.

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