723 Wigan Sqn to the Rescue
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By Flt Lt Hugh Shields
On Friday 20th May An SOS was sent to Wigan’s Air Force Cadets by the local TA to attend a Boer War Wreath Laying Ceremony on Sunday 22nd , as the Towns Army Cadet Force were unable to get any cadets to attend.
The squadron’s cadet’s rose to the last minute challenge & pulled together a squad of 30 cadets, banner bearer & escorts.
The original memorial was erected in Mesnes Park, Wigan in 1903, and inscribed:
‘THIS MEMORIAL WAS ERECTED BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION TO THE MEMORY OF THE MEN BELONGING TO THE REGULAR, VOLUNTEER AND IMPERIAL YEOMANRY FORCES OF WIGAN AND DISTRICT WHO FELL IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR 1899-1902’.
Because it was damaged, it was removed by order of the council in 1968, however the stone plinth survived. In December 2013 the new memorial statue was erected and unveiled in memory of those gallant soldiers from our town who paid the ultimate sacrifice whilst doing their duty. This is now honoured every year with a Civic Wreath Laying ceremony attended by regular & reserve Yeomanry forces, civic dignitaries, the church & the Wigan Veterans.
Wigan Royal Air Force Cadets were praised for their smart turnout by all involved & members of the public alike.