Unveiling the War Memorial, Cannock

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Date:22nd of May 1923

Description:Positioned in front of the bandstand in Cannock's town centre, the war memorial was dedicated on May 22nd 1923 and formally handed over the the Town Council the following June. It was originally intended that the unveiling would be performed by Cannock's most wounded soldier, but plans changed and it was performed by Col. J. V. Campbell V.C. and dedicated by the Bishop of Lichfield.

The memorial's life-sized figures were sculpted from Sicilian marble by James Beresford & Sons of Belper, Derbyshire. Note the Honour Guard of soldiers at the four corners of the plinth 'resting on arms reversed'. Being a holiday time with the local coal mines being idle, thousands of people from the locality flocking in to Cannock to witness the ceremony.
Campbell gained his Victoria Cross in 1916 through personally rallying his men, allegedly with a hunting horn, after they had been decimated by machine-gun fire. In 1917, as a temporary Brigadier General, he was in charge of the 137th (Staffordshire) Brigade, and was at the taking of the Riqueval bridge over the San Quentin Canal at the end of September, 1918. At the time of the ceremony he was Aide-de-Camp to King George V.

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Donor ref:Hednesford 10 (6/45092)

Source: Mr John Godwin

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