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Bid to put right war memorial name error
A genealogy enthusiast says he will not rest until a relative’s name is spelled correctly on a Verwood war memorial.
John Lucy first tried to get the name of Roy Edwin Herridge – his wife Susan’s uncle – changed last year, when his family history research showed him it had been spelled Harridge on a plaque at St Michael and All Angels Church.
After a frustrating time trying to get to the bottom of who was responsible for the memorial he almost gave up, but the annual Remembrance Day service has reignited his passion to get things put right.
He said: “I’ve asked about getting it changed, and was cited costs as the reason it could not be rectified.
“Roy did not worry about cost when he gave his life.”
Mr Herridge was 16 when the family moved to Verwood in 1941 and he joined the Home Guard, eager to sign up as a serving soldier, but was too young. The moment he turned 18 he joined the Grenadier Guards, where he served in the armoured division made famous by the film A Bridge Too Far.
He was just 20 when, in April 1945 he was killed in Germany by a direct hit to his Sherman tank.
Mrs Lucy’s father Melvyn, who was just five at the time and who hero-worshipped his soldier brother, was devastated.
The brothers are survived by their sister Audrey, 84.
Mr Lucy said: “I feel like I’ve tried everyone - the county council, the church, the town council...
“People are even willing to have a whip-round to help get the job done, but I don’t know how to go about getting the expertise necessary.
“Perhaps there is a stonemason that could help me put this wrong right.”
Town council clerk Val Bright said: “The stone at the church was done 60 years ago and we just don’t know who is responsible for it. I don’t think anyone owns it.
“Our memorial is at Ferret Green, which is spelled correctly.”
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