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Feature

Wilfred Owen statue unveiled - We will remember them

9 November 2018

Tranmere Rovers will this weekend be paying their respect as part of Armistice Day and remembering those who fought and made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War. Below is an article detailing the unveiling of the Wilfred Owen statue in Birkenhead dedicated to the 88 Old Boys of Birkenhead Institute.

With the nation celebrating 100 years since the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War, it is fitting to mention the Ingleborough Road playing fields which was a memorial site.

For the Old Boys of Birkenhead Institute, their former playing fields held a special place in their hearts in much the same way that Prenton Park does for Rovers fans, but for different reasons.

Ingleborough Road was first dedicated in 1926 as a War Memorial to the 88 Old Boys of the School who did not survive the Great War and then subsequently those who lost their lives in later conflicts.

When Tranmere Rovers submitted their latest planning application for change the use of the playing fields to residential development land, to help the Club build a state-of-the-art training facility at the Campus, TRFC Chairman Mark Palios worked with Birkenhead Institute Old Boys, Wirral Council and David Armstrong to create a fitting tribute to all those that sacrificed their lives during the war.

This has culminated in the creation of a new memorial which was unveiled on the corner of Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, last Saturday by The Right Hon, Frank Field MP, and dedicated to the 88 Old Boys of the School. However, it will also speak to a new and wider audience about the futility of war as expounded by the school's most celebrated Old Boy, Wilfred Owen.

Another Old Boy commemorated is 25-year-old, Tommy McNaught, one of the school's most gifted sportsmen of his generation. He was among the first to go to war in 1914 and died on 12 March 1915, falling to a sniper's bullet as he ran along the front line trench with bandages for a wounded comrade.

Tommy's death was not just a tragedy for his family, or the school but also for Tranmere Rovers on whose books he was listed.


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