Type War Memorial , War Memorial
War memorial with Modernist figures of soldiers. Three soldiers in trench coats resting on their rifles are represented as flattened abstracted silhouettes. They stand on a white concrete cube pedestal to which are attached plaques from an earlier Ashington war memorial.
The plaques were originally installed outside the Memorial Ward of Ashington Hospital. After World War II, when the ward was demolished they were moved to Ashington Cricket Clubhouse. In 1945 there was a proposal to designate the new Library as the town's World War II memorial but this came to nothing.(1)
Eventually, in 1983, after a long campaign by ex-servicemen in the town to give the dead of two world wars a fitting memorial, Wansbeck Council organised a competition to find the best design for a new memorial and invited entries from pupils at Hirst High School. The competition was won by Gene Healey of Woodlands Road, North Seaton. (2) His design was then translated into working drawings and models by locally-based Colin Rose and installed by a team from Wansbeck Community Programme Agency.(3)
From the first the new memorial came in for criticism. It was said that it looked like 'a group of coat-hangers', that Colin Rose had not adhered closely enough to Healey's design and that the site would cause difficulties on Remembrance Day if it rained.
Incised in Roman letters, painted white, on the plaque on the north face of pedestal; THIS FOUNDATION STONE / WAS LAID JOINTLY BY / COUNCILLOR J.SCOTT / CHAIRMAN, WANSBECK / DISTRICT COUNCIL / AND MR. R. SEWELL, B.SC. / C.ENG M.I.MECH.E FA.M.E. M.E. / PRESIDENT ASHINGTON BRANCH / OF THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION / ON 28TH OCTOBER 1983
Incised in Roman letters, painted white, on the plaque on the north face of pedestal: TO THE GLORY OF GOD IN GLORIOUS / MEMORY OF THOSE INHABITANTS OF / ASHINGTON AND DISTRICT / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY / IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918 / [names]
Incised in Roman letters, painted white, on plaque on the west face of pedestal: AND TO THE GLORIOUS MEMORY / OF THOSE MEN WHO GAVE THEIR / LIVES IN THE WAR 1939-45 [names]
PMSA recording information