Families' disgust as new names refused for Dover's war memorial
DOVER'S war memorial has been engulfed in a row between the town council and families trying to get loved ones commemorated on the monument.
The authority has snubbed the latest addition of names to be honoured on the memorial – a move which has angered and upset relatives of those from the Dover area who died in wars.
A total of 28 names was sent to the council by the Dover War Memorial Project to be featured on a bronze plaque but town clerk Allison Burton has told the project's founder, Maggie Stephenson-Knight, that they will not be included.
Mayfield Road resident Brian Sayer has described the decision as disrespectful and upsetting after spending several years researching his uncle, Sergeant John Hulse, and his involvement with the RAF in the Second World War.
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Mr Sayer, 73, told the Express: "I couldn't believe it when I received the letter to tell me my uncle, a Dover man born and bred, would not be named on the memorial.
"He died when his plane failed at take-off while carrying out special missions for this country, yet the town council has deemed him not worthy to be commemorated. I think it's disgusting."
Dover Town Council passed a resolution in 2006 pledging to add to and update the war memorial, which stands outside its offices, every three years starting in 2009.
The war memorial project says it has not been given any reason as to why this year's names have been declined and added it has received a number of letters from applicants who are angered by snub.
Mr Sayer said: "I, like many others, were looking forward to seeing our loved ones remembered on the memorial – we've waited three years for it to happen and now we've been told they will not be honoured.
"It's a town memorial and, by rights, the townspeople should say who can and who cannot be remembered on that monument."
Town councillor Gordon Cowan, chairman of the finance and general purposes committee, said the decision was based mostly on criteria and not completely on monetary issues.
He added: "We have asked to meet with the war memorial project to set out the criteria for those to be named on the memorial. We are looking for those people from Dover who have died in a theatre of war, not necessarily those who died during a conflict.
"My background in the Royal Engineers means the memorial is very close to my heart but we must establish a way which means those that are the most worthy are commemorated."
Mrs Stephenson-Knight said: "There are names already on the memorial of civilians and others who died, not necessarily in a war zone, but still fighting for this country, like those who lost their lives in a munitions factory explosion in Faversham, whose work would have been invaluable during the war.
"Anyone who has lost their life for their country is worthy to be honoured on the war memorial."