Seems Bath Newseum is not the only online website – dealing with history and heritage – you guys check out.
However, one of my followers – Roger Houghton – has drawn my attention to the Oldfield Park Junior School (Bath) Memorial Project site for a reason.
The youngsters have been researching the whereabouts of a memorial dedicated to Bath policemen killed during the First World War.
A terrible conflict – so costly in human life – that is being especially remembered this year as 2018 is the centenary of the end of the so-called Great War.
On the school’s website, they explain that a memorial had been dedicated to the men in 1922 when a brass plaque was unveiled at Bath’s original police station in Orange Grove which is now a restaurant.
The police then moved to a new purpose-built station in Manvers Street where they stayed until just recently when the building was sold to Bath University. Our local bobbies moved to a depot on the Lower Bristol Road and Oldfield Park Junior School – when they enquired – were told the memorial had been ‘placed in storage.’
Roger asked Bath Newseum to check this out and suggested – with this being a special year – maybe the plaque should be re-hung outside the old police station in Orange Grove.
I contacted Jenny Bigwood at the police press office at the Avon and Somerset Police HQ in Portishead and she said she would see what she could find out.
Within a day or so she was back with this!
“I’m hoping this is the plaque in question? It’s on display at the Police Memorial Garden at our force HQ in Portishead, alongside the roll of officers killed on duty:”
What do Bathonians think? Should the plaque stay where it is or be brought back into the city?
Thanks for that, Richard. Personally I think it should be displayed in Bath, either at the old Police Station or in the Guildhall. Roger
The purpose of monuments and memorial plaques is for future generations to remember people and events that preceded them.
This plaque was not lost, but no-one seemed to know what had happened to it. I would suggest that it is brought back to Bath, and given pride of place in the school whose children initiated the search to find it. What better way to remind future generations of the terrible price of war, give the children credit for their interest and their efforts? The ceremony could be a way to bring four years of remembrance in the city to a fitting close.
At the time Bath had its own City police service which was independent from Bristol and Somerset’s services so I vote it’s returned to a prominent position on the orange grove wall.
Regards Eddy Priest
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