MPs bring young soldier’s WW1 memorial plaque home to Spilsby

Victoria Atkins MP and David Morris MP with the Great War Memorial Plaque  which is coming 'home' to Spilsby. ANL-181018-091224001
Victoria Atkins MP and David Morris MP with the Great War Memorial Plaque which is coming 'home' to Spilsby. ANL-181018-091224001

A young soldier from Spilsby who was killed in the First World War will return ‘home’ when his memorial plaque is presented to the Royal British Legion Spilsby and District Branch by David Morris MP and Victoria Atkins MP.

There will be a a commemoration will take place on Saturday at the War Memorial in the grounds of St James Church in Spilsby before the plaque goes to Franklin Hall where it will be on permanent display.

The presentation follows on from a moving debate last year, David Morris, Member of Parliament for Morecambe and Lunesdale in Lancashire, described how he had come across the Great War Memorial Plaque - also known as a ‘Dead Man’s Penny’ - at a car boot sale.

More than a million of these bronze plaques were made to commemorate the lives of those were killed in the First World War. They were often the only memento that families had of their loved ones.

Mr Morris fought back tears as he spoke about Private Charles Edward Woodward, who was born in Spilsby but died at Ypres at the age of 20 in 1915, during a parliamentary debate.

He then presented the plaque to Victoria Atkins, Member of Parliament for Louth and Horncastle with the wish that Pte Woodward be returned ’home’.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s presentation Victoria Atkins, Member of Parliament for Louth and Horncastle said, “It was a privilege to be part of the very moving debate in the House of Commons last year.

“David Morris MP wanted to draw attention to the significance of these plaques so that the memory of those commemorated continues to be honoured.

“I am delighted to be presenting the Memorial Plaque along with David Morris MP to the Royal British Legion Spilsby and District Branch. It is an honour to be able to bring Private Charles Woodward home.

“Having been mentioned in the Commons chamber last year, Pte Woodward is now part of our national, as well as our local, heritage.”

* The commemoration on Saturday will take place at the War Memorial in the grounds of St James Church in Spilsby at 10am and members of the public and groups are welcome.