SANDAL shared the pain and tragedy that came with two world wars and on these pages we honour the names of the fallen who lived or were born here, or had other links to our community.
We are deeply indebted to David Burnage, of Standbridge Close, Kettlethorpe, who has been researching Wakefield’s First World War memorials for many years, pursuing his interest in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He has generously shared the extensive fruits of that research, to which we have added information about those who fell in the Second World War.
Not only does St Helen’s Church have a bronze war memorial (pictured), Sandal Rugby Football Club also has a memorial. We have now digitised Sandal and Newmillerdam information, much of it for the first time, and we aim to gradually build these pages into a valuable online resource for both family and military historians, adding information about those with Sandal links as, when and where we find it.
Dave has devoted a huge amount of effort to this work, extracting large quantities of material from the files of the Wakefield Express, which recorded the continuing tragedy of the First World War and the impact it had on so many local families. He has begun piecing together information about those whose names appear on Sandal Magna School’s memorial, which was discovered in the cellar of the old school when it was demolished for rebuilding. This already has its own War Dead page where you will find a photograph of the memorial, its history and a list of the names that appear on it. Detailed information will be added as the research is completed.
As Dave’s work covers only First World War casualties, the Association has been carrying out its own research into those who were killed between 1939 and 1945. If you can add to any of the information we have on the site, please call Richard Taylor on 01924 256644.
Our War Dead pages were featured in the Wakefield Express in May 2014 as part of the newspaper's coverage marking the centenary of the outbreak of hostilities.
And at Walton...
Other researchers have tackled the war memorial at Walton, part of the ecclesiastical parish of Sandal Magna. There are 22 names from the First World War (panel pictured on here) and eight from 1939-45.
Two pages of information, including biographical details, can be found here. Much of this is shared with our pages for St Helen's as several names appear on both memorials.
If you are conducting your own research into the story of a serviceman who died then a good starting point will be the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's searchable database at http://www.cwgc.org/
The families of all those whose names appear in our WW1 Rolls of Honour would have received the soldier's or sailor's medals and a memorial plaque, commonly known as the Death Penny. These were often treasured by families and were kept polished, just like the example shown here.
The principal campaign medals issued for the First World War were the 1914 or 1914-15 Stars (for those who served during the appropriate periods), the silver British War Medal and bronze Victory Medal. All were impressed with the recipients' names. There were also the Mercantile Marine War and Territorial Force War Medals, both in bronze. The service number included in the naming on the edge of the medals makes an important contribution to the research, although officers' medals do not include a number.
The 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal illustrated here were popularly known as 'Pip, Squeak and Wilfred' after the cartoon characters of the time.