Plans to restore vandalised ‘headless’ war memorial dedicated to young Worksop solider

L-R: Private George Jackon as a teenager and the vandalised memorial dedicated to him.
L-R: Private George Jackon as a teenager and the vandalised memorial dedicated to him.

Fundraising is underway to restore a vandalised “headless” war memorial which was erected in the 1920s to commemorate a young fallen soldier from Worksop.

It is estimated it will cost £1,500 to restore the statue, which is dedicated to a Private George Wallace Jackson of the 5th Battalion and Sherwood Foresters.

The memorial is located in the graveyard of St. John’s Church in Carlton-in-Lindrick and was vandalised some years ago.

Now Sheffield-based historian John Broom, who launched the fundraising drive after coming across the folorn sight in February and feeling “shocked and saddened” by it, has so far raised £350 towards the restoration.

Determined to “put right a great wrong”, John told the story of George Wallace, who was just 22-years-old when he was killed in action in France.

He said: “Of the many hundreds of memorials I have come across, this was the first example of a statue on the grave of an individual, rather than for a community monument.

“The inscription on the memorial states that Private Jackson fell in action in France, March 21 1918, aged 22 years.

“His body, like so many, was never recovered. The memorial was erected by his sorrowing mother, Charlotte Padley, who later died in 1926.

“She would have paid £22 in war gratuity for the statue to be erected. Sadly the memorial was vandalised some decades ago, with the head being removed and the rifle being snapped off.”

Mr Broom is currently working with the War Memorials Trust, an organisation which provides grants to support restoration projects, to access extra funding for the restoration.

He is also in contact with descendants of Charlotte Padley who are supporting his campaign and have managed to unearth a photo of George taken shortly before he joined the army.

Research by John using Worksop Guardian newspaper archives revealed that George was a “well-conducted youth” and “respected by all who knew him”.

Before enlisting, he left school before finding employment at the Worksop Co-operative society. He is one of nearly 35,000 names on the Arrass Memorial.

Anyone wanting to make a donation can contact John by emailing johnbroom@aol.com.

Keep up to date by visiting John’s blog at faithinwartime.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/restoring-the-memory-of-george-wallace-jackson-sherwood-foresters.

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