the Former curator of Alton’s Curtis Museum, Tony Cross, has completed his book about the people of the town who died in the Second World War, and whose names are recorded on the Cairn war memorial.
Since the publication of Here’s to the Men of Alton some five years ago, which gave information relating to those lost in the First World War, Mr Cross has been working on the natural sequel, to provide similar information for those from the Second World War.
Mr Cross said: “Thankfully there are fewer names on this unique memorial relating to 1939-45, but like the list relating to the First World War, there are omissions and the odd mistake.”
According to Mr Cross, while the war memorial bears the names of the fallen, it has no other information: “After both conflicts the local community knew who they were and where they had died, so no-one needed to record their details. With the passing of the years, that local knowledge has been lost.”
He added: “The centenary of the First World War brought about considerable interest in the human cost of that conflict to a public with little direct connection to that period.
“We are now marking the 80th anniversary of the Second World War, and over the next five years there will be reminders of the events in which Altonians perished. Once again those with a direct involvement to the events of that period are becoming fewer and I hope this book will act as a guide to locals who take an interest.”
In a project which began 20 years ago, Tony Cross and some Friends of the Curtis Museum colleagues have been searching newspapers and online for clues to help them identify the fallen.
This second book, entitled Here’s to the Men of Alton – World War II is available from the museum.