War memorials

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

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.

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.

Prenton Memorial

We have worked with local residents in planting daffodil bulbs on the bank along Osmaston Road so the memorial is bathed in bright yellow daffodils in 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 2012, Lord Ashdown (who is also a former Royal Marine) unveiled a 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 to 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.

    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 under the custodianship of Wirral Council. The term ‘War Memorials’ in this circumstance include a War Memorial, Cenotaph or Memorial Plaque or Stone.

    Initial requests to add names to war memorials can be received in writing from:

    • primary – the next of kin or descendants of the individual concerned
    • secondary – an informed member of the public (either privately or on behalf of an organisation)

    Initial actions:

    • if the request is not from a next of kin, then reasonable efforts should be made to contact the next of kin, which may include the council issuing a media release
    • confirm the individual was a member of the armed forces (regular or reserve) who was killed on duty while performing functions attributable to the special circumstances and requirements of the armed forces, or as a result of terrorist action, or who died while deployed on designated operations
    • members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the merchant navy who died in conflict zones while in direct support of the armed forces
    • a person has died whilst in service in UK armed forces by an incident not defined above
    • in addition, those who have been discharged from the service but later died as a direct result from the injuries received while serving
    • confirm that the person was born in Wirral, or lived in the area for some time, by either being born and brought up in Wirral or moving here at a young age prior to joining the armed services
    • proof of residence will be required
    • each case will be taken on its individual merits

    Wirral Council’s actions on receipt of a request

    • confirmation of details of death from Ministry of Defence either via the website of the conflict or in writing directly to the relevant department dealing with the branch of the armed services.
    • contact the relevant branch of the armed service welfare department (particularly if a recent fatality) to visit next of kin and ask permission to place name on memorial
    • assist the next of kin with any queries on the naming process
    • notify the Mayors Office to include next of kin in invite list for the following Remembrance Sunday Service at Hamilton Square Cenotaph
    • arrange for works to be carried out by a stonemason and make payment on completion
    • write to the next of kin and inform them of the completion of the inscription
    • dedication to take place in-conjunction with the next Remembrance Sunday service
    • remain in contact with the next of kin in order to answer any queries they may have in the future

    The term ‘War Memorials’ in this circumstance is taken include a War Memorial, Cenotaph or Memorial Plaque or Stone.

    Contact the War Memorials Officer

    Email: warmemorials@wirral.gov.uk

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

    Useful websites about war memorials