Middleton by Wirksworth event to mark new First World War memorial

A new First World War memorial is to be dedicated in Middleton by Wirksworth, a century on from the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
A new First World War memorial is to be dedicated in Middleton by Wirksworth, a century on from the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

The residents of Middleton by Wirksworth will hold a dedication ceremony for the village’s new war memorial on Sunday, June 30, at 2.30pm.

The event will also mark 100 years since the Treaty of Versailles was signed, formally agreeing the terms of peace to end the First World War.

The memorial has been created as part of the Middleton Remembers project, honouring the 40 village men who died at war and the 36 who returned.

A spokesman for the project said: “Middleton’s dead are buried across Europe and Asia. The majority in cemeteries in France and Belgium but two lie in Greece, one in Malta, one in Turkey and one in India.

“The youngest was 19, the oldest 45, and the average age was just 25.”

The memorial has been made from local limestone donated by Longcliffe Quarries Ltd and cut by Lowe’s Marble and Granite, it has been created by Middleton stonemason Colin Julian from L Petts Stonemasons.

Its central panel was carved as park of the village’s Armistice commemorations, which saw replica headstones being placed at Steeple Grange Light Railway and Wirksworth Memorial Gardens.

Those headstones echoed the 120,000 which were shipped from the village to cemeteries in France and Belgium in the years following the war.

The centenary service and dedication will be conducted by Canon David Truby, with music from BMW Brass Band.

This project has received grants from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund, and community funding.