Acomb WW1 commemorative events building to Sunday climax

The York Civic Trust have confirmed that the restoration work on the Acomb War Memorial will be completed before the first local armistice commemorative event takes place tomorrow (Thursday). This will be a reading of names from the “Kings Book of Heroes” at the memorial at 11:00am

Acomb War Memorial opening in 1922

The centenary of the end of the First World War has also heightened interest in the background of the 12 servicemen whose remains were laid to rest in the St Stephens Churchyard. Amongst those was a member of the cycling corps – Edward Carlton

Volunteers will be helping to clean up and trim the grass round the 12 graves on Saturday starting at 10:00am

Carlton grave

A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Acomb War Memorial on Sunday starting at 10:45am


AcombWW1 – 12 war graves clean up plan announced

Volunteers are being asked to help clean up the graves of 12 World War 1 soldiers whose remains lie in the St Stephens Churchyard in Acomb.

The grass around the graves is cut by the Commonwealth Ward Graves Commission but, to mark the special centenary of the end of WW1, it is hoped to give the headstones and surrounding area a major uplift.

The condition of the headstones and monuments varies. Some extra grass trimming will be necessary.

Helpers are asked to bring their own brushes and grass clippers.

Volunteers will meet at 10:00am on Saturday 10th November in the cemetery. Access will be available from the Rosedale Avenue entrance.    

It is anticipated that the work will be completed within two hours.


Work underway on Acomb War Memorial

Work has started on cleaning up the Acomb War Memorial on The Green. The project which, as well as cleaning and refurbishing the stonework, includes the provision of a new path, aimed at improving disabled access, is expected to be completed next week.

There will be a reading, by local Councillors, of names from the Kings Book of Heroes at the Memorial on Thursday 8th November 2018, at 11:00am .

The Kings Book of Heroes contains the names of nearly 1,450 men and 2 women from York who lost their lives because of the First World War. It was put together by prominent York citizens after the war as an act of remembrance. The names will be read publicly in chronological order of when they died.

On Saturday 10th November volunteers will be in the St Stephens Churchyard (just opposite the Memorial) from 10:00am cleaning the headstones of the 12 WW1 soldiers who  are buried there. Work starts at 10:00am and will be concluded by noon. Additional helpers are welcome.

On Sunday 11th November a Remembrance Service will take place at the War Memorial starting at 10:45am

St Stephens Churchyard



Acomb War Memorial restoration – deadline looms

Acomb War Memorial – Civic Trust notice

According to the York Civic Trust, restoration of the stonework on the Acomb War Memorial should be completed next week.

They promise, in a poster attached to the (ugly) security barriers which currently protect the monument, that their work will be completed “before the middle of October”.

They promise that a remembrance ceremony will take place on 11th November – the 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War. St Stephen’s Church confirm that they will be holding a service of remembrance, part of which will be held at the Acomb War Memorial on 11th November.

Progress on other commemorative work in the memorial gardens has been slow.

The Westfield Ward Committee promised to fund the provision of a path, from the entrance to the memorial, in an attempt to make access for disabled people and wheelchair users easier. The work has not yet started.

The Ward Committee also promised to fund “crown thinning” of some of the trees on the site in an attempt to encourage flower growth. Reducing the amount of vegetation would also have the effect of improving visibility into the gardens, making anti social behaviour less likely.

The Council sign – which prohibits alcohol consumption on The Green – is only just coming back into view as the leaves fall.

Sadly the rotten fence posts which were left in the gardens a few weeks ago are still there despite being reported to the council for removal.

So a lot still to do.

Dumped rotten fencing in memorial garden

Well camouflaged alcohol prohibition notice

Acomb War Memorial challenge

The York Civic Trust have confirmed that the restoration work that they plan to do on the Acomb War Memorial will be restricted to repairing and cleaning the stonework. Some of the lettering on the monument will also be repainted. The work is partly being sponsored by the Trust with a contribution from the City of York Council. The work is being managed by volunteers.

The scope of the refurbishment falls short of level of work which residents had hoped could be achieved before the Centenary of the end of WW1 which takes place on 11th November.

The original specification for the upgrade had included items like;

  1. Lopping some of the overhanging tree branches to allow more sunlight into the area (and thereby encourage plant growth)
  2. Extending the paving (which currently ends near the entrance) so that wheelchair users could access the memorial
  3. Provision of an interpretation board
  4. The possible provision of a commemorative public seat ( )

The “Friends of Acomb Green” are hoping to have a fund-raising event shortly but, if more work is to be commissioned, in the time available, it is likely that Council and Ward committee funding will be required.