Sheffield Independent – Saturday 24 November 1928
Town Without War Shrine.
Ex-Service Man’s Complaint.
Darfield’s Lack of a Memorial.
While on practically every village green in the land grateful people have erected memorials that pay silent tribute to lives nobly given and deeds heroically- done during the war, there is in South Yorkshire a township with population of 7,000 that is not yet equipped with a public war memorial. That township is Darfield.
The unique position in which Darfield finds itself in 1928, was emphasised during the recent “Remembrance Day celebrations; there was public memorial on which the relatives of the fallen could lay their flowers.
In a secluded spot on the Doncaster to Barnsley main road, near Middlewood Hall, there is a little wayside cavalry. This, however, is private, and one has to climb a wall to get to it. It is also nearly ten minutes’ walk from the centre of the township. There is in the Parish Church tablet bearing the names of Darfield’s fallen, but not all the people Darfield go to church.
A Fund Raised.
Darfielii man who served through the war and returned to civil life permanently broken in health, put the facts to “Sheffield Independent” representative.
“Even the little village of Billingly, with only a hundred residents, he said, “has a war memorial to be proud of, and there is war memorial at Wombwell that you are bound to look at as you walk along the street. When you bring old war-time friends to Darfield they are amazed that have no war shrine to show them.
He explained that some years ago a fund was opened at Darfield, with a view to the erection of a war memorial. The scheme fell flat, however, and nothing more was done about it, although there is an amount standing to the credit of the fund in the bank.
It was not that there was no place in Darfield for a war memorial. It had been stated publicly that Darfield had more open spaces than any village within radius of twenty miles.
When the miners’ welfare scheme was opened in 1923, it was suggested that the ornamental garden opposite the Council offices would make an ideal site for a war memorial, and the central portion was reserved for that purpose. The Idea, however, never matured.
The Darfield branch of the British Legion recently became possessed of one of the finest and most comfortably equipped clubs in South Yorkshire, and the feeling has been expressed that the question of a war memorial ought, at least, to come next.
Darfield had probably as many men serving in the forces during the war as any place its size the country.