Mystery plaque dumped in Hornchurch, Essex

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by Mike L, Mar 1, 2010.

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  1. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    While taking some photos for Diane (dbf) today I heard about a strange incident that occurred in Hornchurch on the morning of Friday 19th February.
    Checking the wreaths on the war memorial a Royal British Legion committee member found a large metal plaque that been placed behind the memorial. The church adjacent to the memorial knew nothing about the plaque, but agreed to store it until something can be discovered about what it is and where it has come from.

    The plaque is about 3 feet by 4 feet, extremely heavy (thought to be gunmetal) and commemorates 17 people who died in WW1 and WW2 (13 in WW1, 4 in WW2). It has ‘bosses’ on the back where it appears to have been mounted on a building at some point. I haven’t seen the plaque yet, so can’t provide a photo (hope to do that in next couple of days) but the heading is apparently along the lines of:


    Great War 1914 – 1919


    …..died in the war….


    Gave their best….


    Then lists 13 names.


    1939 – 1945


    Howard Harold Blower


    Stanley Dyer


    Douglas Pegrum


    Stanley Clarkson

    There is no indication whether these people were in the Forces or civilians, no service numbers, just names. What I do know is that the names (WW1 and WW2) do not appear on Hornchurch’s Role of Honour (already checked by RBL Branch) so it does not appear to be local to Hornchurch, but could be relevant to somewhere close by.
    I haven’t started researching this yet – first thing will be to ‘google’ the names – but I wondered if any kind person on this very well-informed site could give me any pointers?

    Mike
     
    dbf and James S like this.
  2. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

  3. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Only one Douglas Pegrum on CWGC if that helps:

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    I don't know what the connection with Essex is though...His family appear to be from Burma.
     
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  6. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Bloody hell chaps, just posted this and I can't believe how quick you lot really are!
    Thanks very much for the responses, will check out links and get back to you if I have any news.

    Mike
     
  7. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    ....or "lost" one recently???
     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Speculation, but you could maybe imagine someone nicking it, and then another party with a few more scruples deciding that ain't right (or realising it's not the bronze they were hoping for) and dumping it in an appropriate spot...
     
  9. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    The plaque is about 3 feet by 4 feet, extremely heavy (thought to be gunmetal) and commemorates 17 people who died in WW1 and WW2 (13 in WW1, 4 in WW2). It has ‘bosses’ on the back where it appears to have been mounted on a building at some point.


    I wonder if it's a "works" memorial??? :unsure:

    At a guess - reads like some has robbed it out of somewhere, taken it to a scrap merchant, been told it's worthless, and at least wasn't enough of a scumbag to just dump it in a river to be forever lost...
     
  10. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

  11. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    had an Essex connection


    Well, given the size they weren't intending to lug it very far! :lol:
     
  12. idler

    idler GeneralList

    If it's been placed behind a memorial, it sounds more like some well-meaning soul has recovered it from a building or skip and didn't know what else to do with it. Why not get the local rag to run the story and ask if the finder could let them know where it came from?
     
  13. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Rich, thanks for that. At least it gives me a starting point (if it is the right bloke!).
    Yes - the general opinion is either that it has been removed from a demolition job or nicked by someone who has then had an attack of concience and at least put it somewhere where it would be found. The war memorial in Hornchurch is on quite a busy road, in full view, and the plaque is apparently a 2 man carry so I guess it was dumped during the night before it was found.
     
  14. drumaneen

    drumaneen Senior Member

    Would an enquiry of the Police be in order? And perhaps it is apprpriate that it be handed in anyway as 'found' property and the requisite period be waited before taking possession legally?
     
  15. chrisharley9

    chrisharley9 Senior Member

    Any chance of a list of the Great War names; might just be able to find something more with those as there is more records available on line
     
  16. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Would an enquiry of the Police be in order? And perhaps it is apprpriate that it be handed in anyway as 'found' property and the requisite period be waited before taking possession legally?


    Don't see why not. They probably wouldn't accept it to hold - not something THAT big - police evidence rooms are usually bulging with unclaimed clothers etc. seized from suspects! And they don't accept things as big as bicycles nowadays...

    But the usual procedure is they'll tell you, once you report it, that if noone claims it in three months it's yours.
     
  17. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Hi all,
    Thanks for your input, will try to get a pic of the plaque later today.
    Drumanoon and Phylo, hadn't considered reporting to Police but seems a good safe policy - will recommend to Legion (as I am now on the Branch Committee). I understand local papers will also be contacted about this.
    Chrisharley - the WW1 info will surely be a great help, more names etc so more chance to find where this plaque is from. Watch this post and I will put up a photo. Thanks mate.
    Re previous messages and links: some links require site membership/'credits' to view the information. Is there any way round this without breaching protocol? Could members/account holders copy info and post here?
    I have found a couple of possible Stanley Dyers, some with service numbers. Will have to search these individually. One went down on the Barham in the Med.
    So a busy day ahead for me I think!

    Thanks again all,

    Mike
     
  18. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    As mentioned, the WW1 will give you better hits as the records are widely available.

    Stick any names up over on the Great War Forum, this is their bread & butter (one of many slices!).

    PM me the details and I can post for you if you're not a member
     
  19. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Only one Douglas Pegrum on CWGC if that helps:

    CWGC :: Certificate :poppy:

    I don't know what the connection with Essex is though...His family appear to be from Burma.


    Details of the above loss.......

    15-16 May 1944

    103 Squadron
    Lancaster I LL963 PM-D
    Op. Gardening.

    P/O. K W. Mitchell +
    Sgt. D. Howells +
    F/S. W. Kelly +
    F/S. R A. Tapp +
    F/S. C F. Bish +
    Sgt. D F. Pegrum +
    P/O. T K. Wright.

    Took off 2213 hrs Elsham Wolds tasked for operations over Kiel Bay. Crashed in Avernako Hoved on the NW edge of the tiny danish island of Avernako, 7 km south of Faborg.
    Four bodies were washed ashore and buried in various Danish cemeteries, but the last three named are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    BCL. Vol.5 - Chorley
     
  20. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Peter - many thanks for that.
    Now having seen the plaque I can give the full description and list of names. I have a few photos but for the moment can't seem to upload them (help please Mod? I get an 'error on page' message when I click on 'manage attachments')

    Heading: THE GREAT WAR 1914 - 1919 (with laurel wreaths in top left and right corners).
    THESE DIED
     

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