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Archive List > World > France

Contributed by 
Warwickshire Libraries Heritage and Trading Standards
People in story: 
Major P Stanley T D,Derek Tew.
Location of story: 
Coventry Cathedral
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4446902
Contributed on: 
13 July 2005

The great war, or the first world war the war to end all wars that was said many times, by many people including politicians, who believed this as true, but a big but, the second world war and many more since have claimed the lives of many young men, Young men who’s lives had barely begun. In all walks of life, life is precious it should not be given away lightly the young men who go to war know this, they know that they are not only fighting for their own freedom but for the freedom of all the people that they have left behind.

In the First World War thousands of men died, a lot of them can be remembered to day by people who are still living. I know of a young soldier who was only 23 years old he was killed in France on the 16th of July 1916 he left a wife and two small children. In the Second World War my brother who was soldier in the first battalion of the northants regiment was killed In Burma while fighting the Japanese, he was only 19 years old, I still treasure his memory. The memories of all those who have died in war should be preserved.

Many of the battalions of the First World War were made up by men from local villages and towns thus the names they had for their regiments, the royal Warwickshire regiment was no exception, most of the men came from within Warwickshire.

In July of 1944 the 1st 7/th battalion of the royal Warwickshire regiment were engaged in a fierce battle at Caen in France, where they came under heavy resistance from the German force. In this battle most of the men of the royal Warwickshire regiment were killed. In fact only 35 men came away from this battle alive. Men and boys who’s sacrifice will never be forgotten by their relatives who are still alive to day. Perhaps by an old photograph.
The veterans of the 1st 7/th royal Warwickshire regiment want desperately to preserve the memory of their comrades who died during the Second World War. After the First World War finished in 1918 a plaque was erected on the wall inside Coventry Cathedral to commemorate the soldiers from their regiment who were killed during that war. This plaque is still attached to that same wall today. Since the cathedral was bombed during the Second World War the plaque has stood out in the open and has suffered a lot of damage due to the weather. What the Veterans have been told by the custodians of the cathedral is that the plaque must remain where it is, but a frame could be put round it at the cost of £1-000. This is ridiculous. What the veterans want to do is to have a new plaque made, which
Will commemorate soldiers from their regiment who were killed in both world wars, on the same plaque. And also for the new plaque to be displayed in a prominent place in the new cathedral along with the royal Warwick’s standard, so that it can be viewed by the public. When the plaque war first erected it was undercover where it could be easily viewed, other cathedrals have plaques inside their cathedrals with that battalions standard on show, why not Coventry cathedral.
At their monthly meeting the veterans of the 1/7 Royal Wark's make a collection from their own pockets for the purpose of renewing the plaque, but this will take a long time, they hope that the plaque will be in place in their life time, so that along with others they can honor the memories of their comrades who gave their lives for our freedom.

I am hoping that this appeal to help the veterans of the 1/7 Royal Warwickshire regiment will not fall on deaf ears.
I thank you on behalf of the veterans for any help that you feel you can give. We must no allow the future generations to forget the ultimate sacrifice those men made.

[personal details removed by moderator]

Yours faithfully,

Derek Tew.

Telephone: - 024 76386460.

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