Adding a name to a war memorial

Requests for adding names to war memorials in Wirral should be made to the War Memorials Officer. If you want a relative's name to be added to a war memorial, please supply as many details as possible including name, rank, serial number, regiment and address details of where they lived in Wirral.

We will check with the veteran’s agency, the Ministry of Defence, and if your relative is also named on another local memorial, before adding their name to Hamilton Square. On very rare occasions we have to refuse a name being placed on a memorial for a variety of reasons. In cases such as this we will explain the reasons why. Each request for a name inscription is taken on its individual merits.

Below are the criteria for how the council deals with requests for names of the deceased to be added to a war memorial in Wirral.

Contact the War Memorials Officer

War Memorials Officer
Wirral Council
Wallasey Town Hall 
Brighton Street
Wallasey, CH44 8ED

War memorials maintained by Wirral Council

Wirral Council is responsible for a number of war memorials across the borough:

  • HMS Conway Mast, Tower Road, Birkenhead, CH41 1DH
  • Magazine Promenade, Rear of 30 Magazine Brow CH45 1HP (Including a plaque to SPJ McLaughlin)
  • Jack Potter Memorial, Jack Potter Way, Seacombe
  • Bidston Village War Memorial, Bidston Road, Bidston, CH43 7QT
  • Upton War Memorial, Ford Road, Upton, CH49 0TB
  • Moreton War Memorial, Pasture Road, Moreton, CH46 7TH
  • Former RAF West Kirby, Saughall Massie Road, CH48 1PQ
  • West Kirby War Memorial, Grange Old Road, West Kirby, CH48 4ET
  • Heswall War Memorial, Dee View, Lower Heswall, CH60 0DH
  • Thornton Hough Memorial, Thornton Hough, CH63 1JJ
  • Eastham Village Memorial, Stanley Road, Eastham, CH62 0AQ
  • Bebington War Memorial, The Wiend, Church Road, Bebington, CH63 7RG
  • Prenton War Memorial, Prenton Lane, Prenton, CH42 8LA
  • Hamilton Square Cenotaph, Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, CH41 5AT (including 18 Regimental Plaques and Low Level Memorials)
  • HMS Birkenhead, Woodside Ferry Approach, Woodside, Birkenhead, CH41 6DU
  • HMS Thetis Woodside Promenade, Birkenhead, CH41 1EL
  • Cockleshell Heroes, Woodside Promenade, Birkenhead, CH41 1EL

First World War Centenary

We are currently working with other councils and the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on the WW1 Centenary flagstones for Victoria Cross Recipients. It is planned to place all the flagstones in the area fronting the cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday 2018.

The Cenotaph, Hamilton Square

The low level memorials created around the Cenotaph in 2012 commemorate the following:

  • recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross (including those transferred to the George Cross in 1940 and 1971 along with those that have passed on that did not transfer)
  • the fallen from 1914-1918
  • the fallen from 1939-1945
  • those who have fallen since 1945 (Post 1945 Memorial)
  • Individuals from the Merchant Navy during World Wars One and Two
  • The Boer War
  • Far East Prisoners of War
  • the civilian and emergency services.

Hamilton Square Regimental Plaques

Hamilton Square was chosen for the new memorial as it is part of the Annual Remembrance Service and close to public transport. It also has the advantage of disabled access and parking close by.

A small metal protective bar has been placed to the front and rear of the memorial to allow the public to place crosses and mementoes close to their relative’s name on the plaque.

Prenton Memorial

We have also worked with local residents in planting Daffodils on the bank along Osmaston Road so the memorial is bathed in bright yellow daffodils in the spring.

Victoria Cross Memorial Alcove (Wallasey Town Hall)

A plaque which lists all the Victoria Cross holders within the Wirral Peninsular is situated on the ground floor of Wallasey Town Hall. In addition to the plaque depicting the Victoria Cross holders, there is a detailed description of each recipient kindly put together by Mr. Denis Rose, our resident Victoria Cross and George Cross specialist.

The alcove also has various other memorials including a map of the United States, given to Wallasey after the Second World War by the Americans stationed there.

Cockleshell Heroes (Woodside promenade)

In December 2012, we were delighted to have Lord Ashdown (who is also a former Royal Marine) unveil the new memorial to the Cockleshell Heroes along the Woodside promenade.

This was particularly important as one of the Marines who took part in the operation was Albert Laver from Birkenhead. An annual service of remembrance is held at the memorial every December organised by the local Royal Marines Association.

HMS Birkenhead (Woodside promenade)

The HMS Birkenhead tragedy resulted in today’s “Women and Children First” maritime rule. The memorial was suggested to the authority by Andy Liston of New Brighton lifeboat station. HMS Birkenhead was built by Cammell Laird in 1845. John Syvret, Cammell Laird Chief Executive, agreed to allow Cammell Laird apprentices to build the memorial, with the company funding the materials. The memorial was unveiled by the Lord Lt Dame Lorna in March 2014.

HMS Thetis

A memorial to this local tragedy was suggested by Mr Derek Arnold, a relative of one of the survivors. The memorial consists of two plaques on the top of the memorial and the story of the tragedy is on the landward side of the memorial. The names of those lost are depicted on the river side of the memorial. The memorial was unveiled in June 2014 by the Lord Lt Dame Lorna

Birkenhead Bantams

Volunteers from 5’ to 5’ 3” converged on Birkenhead Town Hall to form the 16th and 17th Birkenhead Bantams. This was after Alfred Bigland, a Member of Parliament for Birkenhead 1910 – 1918, persuaded the War Office to drop the minimum height for army recruits to enable the bantams to be formed.

The new memorial was unveiled on 30 November 2014 on the centenary of the formation of the Bantams after it was suggested by local author Stephen McGreal.

Jack Potter (Jack Potter Way, Seacombe)

Jack's Spitfire was damaged in a dog fight and he had to ditch in the channel 15 miles from Dunkirk. He was the only pilot to ditch in the channel during this time and his exploits were depicted in the 2017 Dunkirk film.

Jack was picked up by the French fishing boat the Jolie Mascotte and returned to Dunkirk where they came across a badly damage vessel (Basilisk). With the assistance, of HMS Whitehall and under sustained air attack, they endeavoured to take the troops from the Basilisk.

After all the troops and crew were evacuated from the Basilisk it was towed away from the mole and sunk as it was too severely damaged to return home.

The Jolie Mascotte managed to rescue 8 officers and 123 crew from a complement of 134. HMS Whitehall landed 571 personnel at Dover that day, and by the end of Operation Dynamo she had evacuated 2,762 men.

The memorial was attended by Jack's family who flew over from Australia, Canada and other parts of the globe. Mayor of Wirral Councillor Ann McLachlan unveiled the plaque on 28 February 2018.

Previous works

Wirral Council has a rolling programme of repairs and maintenance to the memorials used for Remembrance Day services. This ensures respect is given to those who have paid the ultimate price in defence of their country.

Cleaning and re-waxing of the memorials in 2013-14

In 2014 we employed a local specialist stone mason company to re-paint or gold leaf gilding the names on the memorial plaques for our memorials around Wirral. This will allow people to clearly view the names on the top of the cenotaph and ensure they are clearly visible for many years to come.

Further information about war memorials

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The War Memorials Trust