Friday, 2 September 2011

News - Pictures come in for project (Newark)

Photographs of ten fallen heroes have so far been found for a pictorial project to honour Newark’s war dead.

Mr Brian Clark-Dench, 74, of Balderton, whose uncle features on the Newark Memorial To The Fallen.The project, which aims to put faces to the 603 names on Newark’s Memorial To The Fallen at Newark Cemetery, is being coordinated by Mr Pete Stevens, a Commonwealth War Graves Commission stonemason.

He hopes to find all of the pictures in time for the 100th anniversary of the start of the first world war in 2014.

The Newark memorial names 456 Servicemen who died in the first world war and 144 casualties from the second world war.

Also named are one Serviceman who died in West Africa in 1961, one who died in Malaya in 1952, and one in Afghanistan in 2007.

Mr Stevens is seeking pictures to a further 45 names from the first world war on the memorial in St Giles’ Church, Balderton, and 13 from the second world war.

Mr Stevens has set up a website to add each picture collected to the details of the casualty on one of the war memorials.

The website can be viewed at

So far those who have come forward to help with the project include Mr Brian Clark-Dench, of Gibson Crescent, Balderton, whose uncle, Mr Alfred Charles Dench, is one of the names on the Newark memorial
Mr Dench, who was born in Winthorpe and lived on Middlegate, Newark, for most of his life, served in 1st Battalion King’s Company of the Grenadier Guards.

He was killed in 1915 at the village of Loos, France, at the age of 23, and was later buried to the north-west of the village.

Over the years Mr Clark-Dench has compiled and collected military items related to his uncle, including his original dog tags, campaign medals, postcards sent from France, photographs and even his death notice, signed by Field Marshall Herbert Kitchener, British Secretary of State for War from 1914-16.

Mr Clark-Dench, who served in the same battalion as his uncle during the 1950s, said: “When I saw the article in the Advertiser I was amazed and wanted to come forward and help.

“I never knew my uncle but I do feel the need to keep his memory alive because his story is an interesting tale.

“He was held in high regard as being a real hard man, strong as an ox.

“During battle he saved his company commander from No Man’s Land, despite being under heavy enemy fire — this was the type of man he was.

“Coming forward to help with the project is very important because the men on the memorials should be remembered — what they did for this country should never be forgotten.

“I am immensely proud of what my uncle did and the rest of my family — that is something I wanted to honour.”

Any relative of one of the fallen featured on either memorial and who has a photograph of them or who can help in any way can contact Mr Stevens via or contact the Advertiser newsdesk on 01636 681234.

The Newark project mirrors a much bigger scheme to find photographs of as many as possible of the 72,000 British and Commonwealth casualties of the Battle of The Somme, whose names are commemorated on the French Thiepval Memorial To The Missing.

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