Decision details

Addition of names to the War Memorial, Promenade

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member Healthy Lifestyles

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Decision:

The addition of Cpl Francis Howard Pargeter’s name to the war memorial in the Promenade, subject to the permissions needed being granted.

 

PARGETER Cpl F.H. R. BERKS. R.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/358388/F%20H%20PARGETER/

 

Addition of a second name, Pioneer Joseph Mitchell, if it can be demonstrated that living relatives are supportive of this.

 

MITCHELL Pnr J.G. R.E.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/358384/J%20G%20MITCHELL/

Reasons for the decision:

·         There was a request by a family member of Cpl Pargeter in a letter to the Mayor to add Cpl Pargeter’s name to the war memorial in the Promenade. Subsequent evidence has been provided including reported support from living relatives of Cpl Pargeter who express ‘deep regret’ that his name is not on the war memorial.

 

·         Cpl Pargeter was not added to the war memorial when it was restored ahead of the WW1 centenary because he was in a group of 3 uncommemorated Cheltonians who had been discharged from the Army and had subsequently died of apparent non-attributable disease before the national cut-off date for names to be listed of 31st August 1921. 

 

·         A review of new evidence by Jimmy James (local WW1 historian) left the verdict open to our interpretation, as it is not conclusive but there may be a case. 

 

·         There still isn’t conclusive evidence to link Cpl Pargeter’s death to his service, but he was awarded a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone. On balance given he was considered eligible to be  buried in a war grave, is not commemorated elsewhere to the best of our knowledge and living relatives appear to regret he is not commemorated in the town it seems appropriate to accept this proposal and explore next steps.

 

·         The Royal British Legion committee has been consulted and is supportive. CBC’s Property team has also indicated they would be able to support this work.

 

·         Permission from the War Memorials Trust whom we received a grant from previously when the war memorial was restored will be needed. The war memorial is also listed, so appropriate permissions will need to be sought. 

 

·         If it is agreed to add Cpl Pargeter’s name, then consideration should also be given to Pioneer Mitchell, who was in the group of 3 uncommemorated Cheltonians along with Pargeter and Long.  Both Pargeter and Mitchell were given official war graves, but Long was not.  Contact has been made with possible relatives of Pioneer Mitchell to seek their views and to find out if there was any known reason why his name was not put forward at the time. 

Alternative options considered:

·         To refuse the request and add a memorial page on the Cheltenham Remembers website to Cpl Pargeter instead. (Website only supported for 5 years from 2018)

 

·         To ask the enquirer to find further categorical written evidence that Clp Pargeter’s death was directly attributable to military service. (This is unlikely to exist).

 

·         To accept the request but on the condition that the enquirer pays for addition of the name or secures appropriate funding.

Consultees

·         Royal British Legion committee

·         Jimmy James, local WW1 historian

·         Senior Projects Manager at Cliveden Conservation

·         CBC Property Team

·         PA to the Mayor

·         Customer Advisor for Local & Family History at Cheltenham Library

·         Local historian, David Drinkwater

·         War Memorials Trust has requested more information before granting permission

·         CBC Planning Team (planning permission to be applied for)

 

·         Royal British Legion committee is supportive

·         Jimmy James (the historian we worked with previously on Cheltenham Remembers) reviewed the evidence and suggested there could be a case but if we accept the addition of Cpl Pargeter’s name we should also consider a second name (Pioneer Mitchell) as they would fall under the same inclusion criteria.

·         Cliveden Conservation (who previously undertook work on the war memorial) would be able to undertake the work and have quoted £575 for one name and £800 for both names plus VAT. We have worked with this firm before so they know the monument and the specifics of the style of lettering and stone. 

·         There is underspend in the civic budget which could be used to fund the work. 

·         So far one relative of Pioneer Mitchell has been contacted and is supportive.

·         War Memorials Trust has confirmed that any works to the war memorial within 6 years of the grant in 2016 require consent from them and they have requested 3 pieces of evidence in order to consider the case. 

·         CBC planning team will be consulted about obtaining listed building/monument consent if these additions are approved.

Contact: Helen Down Email: helen.down@cheltenham.gov.uk Email: helen.down@cheltenham.gov.uk.

Publication date: 12/02/2021

Date of decision: 12/02/2021

Effective from: 20/02/2021