New names under consideration for War Memorial

Seventy-five years after the end of World War II, two forgotten names are being considered for inclusion on the Roll of Honour of the Oundle and Ashton War memorial in the centre of town.

Stephen Abbott, from the local branch of the Royal British Legion, had been doing research on the memorial and noticed that two men listed on the war memorial plaque in St Peter’s Church were not included on the Oundle and Ashton War Memorial. Both men are buried in the Oundle Cemetery.

The two men are Peter Aubrey Forrester Adie and John Arthur Coleman.

Peter Aubrey Forrester Addie died on 17 March 1940 aged only 19 years old. He was a member of the 50 Squadron Royal Air Force and was killed when his aircraft crashed in Windy Gyle, Cheviot Hills, Northumberland due to bad weather and a believed equipment failure during their patrol near Lincolnshire. The aircraft was written off, damaged beyond repair.

He was the son of Alan Leslie Forrester Addie and Effie Morgan Addie, of Chapel-en-le Frith, from Derbyshire, and it is unclear what his connection to Oundle was.

However, it appears that his mother was later also buried in Oundle. The inscription on his headstone reads: “EFFIE M. ADDIE, MOTHER OF AUBREY, 3 FEBRUARY 1964, AGED 71, IN LOVING MEMORY OF BOTH”.

John Arthur Coleman died on 6 February 1945 aged only 21 years old. He was a flight sergeant (navigator) of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was the son of Charles and Olive May Coleman of Peterborough. It is not clear what his connection to Oundle was.

The town council has approved funds to pay for engraving the new names on the memorial. Before work begins, conservation officers at the War Memorial Trust are being consulted about the best practice for adding names to the memorial, as well as the Royal British Legion.

The Oundle and Ashton memorial was unveiled in 1920 by Oundle School Headmaster F.W. Sanderson and was dedicated by the Vicar of Oundle, Canon Smalley Law. It was designed by Arthur B. Comfield, architect to the Grocers’ Company and the Bank of England and the work was carried out by W. Freeman of Oundle.

From a population of 3,000, as many as 420 men from Oundle saw service. The memorial originally listed 68 names for World War I, including Sanderson’s son, Roy. The names of 27 men were later added after World War II.

Esme Kroese
May 2020