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May 14, 2015, 01:25 PM

Old warriors never die.

By Peter Watson

Westgate Hill Memorial Plaque being presented to the Branch Chairman, Mr Eddie Morton, by our guest from "The Black Country" Mr Ron Wootton [photo RBL

Left to right, The Mayor of Kirklees, Councillor Ken Smith, Mr Ron Wootton and the Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Mr Gordon Tollefson. [photo RBL
Westgate Hill Memorial discovered by Ronnie Wootton in a dealer's yard up North [photo R Wootton
The Royal British Legion's VE Day celebrations at Cleckheaton Town Hall [photo RBL

West Yorkshire, UK - The trade's very own Old Soldier, Ronnie Wootton from MDS Ltd, is intensely proud of his country of birth and the men who fought for his country and our freedom in near and far flung fields. So you can imagine his dismay when he came across a bronze war memorial, neglected and unwanted, just sticking out of a pile of scrap in a yard up north.

Incensed the intrepid Wootton dug frenetically with his own hands to recover the item, discarding without fear of damage to his own person, all sorts of rusty, sharp, disintegrating and generally contaminated detritus, to discover that the memorial was in surprisingly undamaged condition still in its own oak frame.

Berating the dealer and passing just a few bob over, Ronnie liberated the piece, took it back to his beloved Black Country, researched the provenance and background to the memorial, eventually returning it to the British Legion in Yorkshire.

Recently Trooper Wootton was guest of honour at the Legion's V.E. day celebrations at Cleckheaton Town Hall, near Bradford, where he was presented with a framed panel commemorating the day and lunched at the top table.

The Royal British Legion website writes, 'After the interval, the Branch Chairman, Eddie Morton, introduced a vistor from the Black Country, Mr Ron Wootton. Mr Wootton's business took him to Wetherby, where he noticed a large bronze Great War Memorial in a waste skip. Realising its significance, he duly liberated it with the intention of returning it to its rightful owners.

After some research he found that the names were men from East Bierley and Birkenshaw and he duly contacted the Branch. Branch Historian, Charlie Turpin researched further and found that the men had worshipped at the now demolished Westgate Hill Methodist Chapel.

Mr Wootton presented the Memorial Plaque to the Branch Chairman, who will in turn present it to a church in the East Bierley area for permanent display.

Details of the plaque and its means of recovery were recorded onto a display panel which was presented to Mr Wootton. A further copy has been produced to go alongside the plaque in its new home.

On behalf of the people of Spenborough, the Branch Chairman thanked Mr Wootton for his generosity and civic awareness and spontaneous applause was given by the concert audience.'

Cox's Yard


The Royal British Legion

Story Type:  News

ID: 89147

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