Once again the siting of the Andover War Memorial is making news in Andover as discussions between groups for and against the move take place as to whether it should stay at its current location at St Mary’s or be moved to it original location in front of the Guildhall.
A petition of 7,000 signatures is reported to have been gathered for moving it back in front of the Guildhall however in a letter to the Andover Advertiser, TVBC leader Ian Carr said “We must ensure that the vocal few do not force their opinion on the masses.”
Polls run in the Andover Advertiser have put public opinion at fairly evenly split as did a council debate in 2011 however these were limited by those with internet access and those who could attend the meeting. Has the time now come to ask all the residents of the town and finally to resolve it?
Various reasons have been put forward as to why it was moved also why it should stay in St Mary’s and others on why it should be moved back.
Craig Fisher has looked into why it was moved and said: “Andover Borough Council wanted to extend the ground floor of Guildhall to provide a dance hall for the town and the memorial was in the way. At the same time they also had a complaint from the Old Comrades Association about market traders stacking boxes on the plinth on market days – so instead of sorting out the market traders, they moved the memorial!”
The stone memorial which dates from 1920 was originally positioned in front of the Guildhall. It was moved to its present position in the Garden of Remembrance at the churchyard in 1956 when a second memorial dedicated to the fallen of the Second World War was erected.
The memorial was designed by the architect Herbert Cowley and constructed by Harry Page at the Angel Yard Works in Andover. The memorial bears the name of 213 men who fell in the Great War and, unusually, the date reads 1914-1920. This reflects the service of the Hampshire Regiment in Murmansk in Russia after the official end of the First World War, where they saw action with anti-Bolshevik forces.
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