Gildersome salutes its WW1 soldiers

Councillors with the tree sculpture to honour fallen soldiers.
Councillors with the tree sculpture to honour fallen soldiers.

Gildersome is to honour the memory of its men who served their country in World War One thanks to a unique project by Gildersome Parish Council.

In honour of the men who served in the Great War, the parish council has commissioned a tree sculpture to be unveiled this Sunday March 15 at 2pm by MBI Coun Bob Gettings.

Designed by a local firm, Outdoor Classrooms from Calverley, the 10’ high sculpture has been hand-carved from a British Oak, and will take pride of place on the small grassed area opposite Gildersome Primary School’s main entrance.

Coun Kathy Cook said: ““Gildersome Parish Council wanted to mark the centenary of WWI in a special way and at the same time pay tribute to the men of our village who marched away to fight in the conflict”

“The carvings on the tree reflect the village as it would have been when they set off to fight in the Great War. The sculptor has cleverly carved images of the area, including the mills, the coal pit and other parts of the village which are still around today. She has even reflected the rural landscape of the area and many animals are included in the design.”

The parish council is inviting villagers to turn out to see the unveiling of this memorial sculpture Sunday. Children from the two local schools, Gildersome Primary and Birchfield School, have been asked to decorate small wooden figures

which will be placed in the ground around the sculpture to represent those who gave up their lives in the cause of freedom.

But the Parish Council are hoping the event will attract some special guests as well.

Coun Cook said: “We’re aware that of the Gildersome men whose names are engraved on the village war memorial, some may still have descendants in the village and surrounding area. We’re hoping that these people might like to come

along to the unveiling and pay a personal and poignant tribute to their ancestors.”

Anyone who has relatives’ names on the village war memorial and would like to attend the ceremony should contact Coun Cook on 0113 2530667.

The parish council will serve refreshments after the event and Gildersome Community Choir and the two school choirs will provide musical entertainment.