National Recording Project

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

ALBERT LEE MEMORIAL

Summary

     Plain stone obelisk rising in three stages with inscription on central section. It is situated on sloping ground in the park.
     The deaths of Albert Lee and David Ashworth in June 1907 greatly affected the town of Heywood. The boys had been out playing when Ashworth trying to catch wood which was being carried downstream fell into the swollen River Roch. Lee jumped in to save him but both boys drowned. Lee's body was not found until a week after the tragedy. To mark this act of self-sacrifice it was decided to erect a memorial. A sum of £50 was collected. The memorial took the form of a stone obelisk - plans for a turret clock having been abandoned - which was erected close to the site of the tragedy. The mayor David Healey, in the absence of Edward Holden MP, unveiled the memorial. His remarks on the unselfish courage of Albert Lee, a non-swimmer, in trying to rescue his friend from the flooded river, were echoed by other speakers and the press of the day. A certificate from the Royal Humane Society was also presented to Lee's family. The monument was made be by Messrs S. and A. Taylor. The memorial was restored in 1951. In 1993 it was sandblasted, removing both graffiti and a coat of paint which had been applied to 'protect' the stone, and then sealed with a coat of silicone. Plans are current to restore the almost illegible inscription. The architect was H. C. Anderson
     Albert Lee

Inscriptions

Inscription (originally in lead lettering) on central section: THIS MEMORIAL WAS ERECTED / BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION / TO COMMEMORATE THE GALLANT / AND HEROIC CONDUCT OF / ALBERT LEE / OF 79, STARKY STREET, HEYWOOD, / AGED 15, / WHO LOST HIS LIFE IN ATTEMPTING / TO RESCUE HIS COMPANION, / DAVID ASHWORTH, / FROM DROWNING IN THE RIVER ROACH / OPPOSITE THIS SPOT ON / SATURDAY AFTERNOON THE / 15 JUNE 1907. / 'GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS; / THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS'/ JOHN XV. 13. Condition: poor; weathering of stone, inscription faint or worn away The deaths of Albert Lee and David Ashworth in June 1907 greatly affected the town of Heywood. The boys had been out playing when Ashworth trying to catch wood which was being carried downstream fell into the swollen River Roch. Lee jumped in to save him but both boys drowned. Lee's body was not found until a week after the tragedy. To mark this act of self-sacrifice it was decided to erect a memorial. A sum of £50 was collected. The memorial took the form of a stone obelisk - plans for a turret clock having been abandoned - which was erected close to the site of the tragedy. The mayor David Healey, in the absence of Edward Holden MP, unveiled the memorial. His remarks on the unselfish courage of Albert Lee, a non-swimmer, in trying to rescue his friend from the flooded river, were echoed by other speakers and the press of the day. A certificate from the Royal Humane Society was also presented to Lee's family. The monument was made be by Messrs S. and A. Taylor. The memorial was restored in 1951. In 1993 it was sandblasted, removing both graffiti and a coat of paint which had been applied to 'protect' the stone, before being sealed with a coat of silicone. Plans to restore the now almost illegible inscription have yet to be realised.

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Unknown, None Architect

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
obelisk Halifax stone 650 cm high approx 518 cm high approx x 137 cm square base

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
MR/ROC28 MR
General condition Poor
Surface condition
  • Surface spalling, crumbling
Structural condition
  • Cracks, splits, breaks, holes
Vandalism
  • None
Road None
Precise location Queen's Park
A-Z ref None
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1908
Unveiling details 11 April 1908
Commissioned by public subscription
Duty of care Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
Listing status Not listed
At risk? At Risk

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