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Remembrance Day: Winckley Square to honour Preston WWI hero

Posted on - 10th November, 2022 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - History, People, Preston Council, Preston News, Proud Preston, Winckley Square
Tony Lewis, a warden at Preston City Council. Pic: Preston City Council

Preston City Council and the Friends of Winckley Square will honour a WWI soldier on Preston’s Roll of Honour in the run-up to Remembrance Day.

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Private Joseph Lee Lynch, a motor engineer in the West Yorkshire Regiment, lived at number 18 Winckley Square but sadly never returned home from World War I. Alongside the council, the FoWS will honour Private Lynch for Remembrance Day (11 November) in Winckley Square Gardens.

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Tony Lewis, a warden at Preston City Council, realised the link in 2018 when FoWS bought the Tommy to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. Preston’s Roll Of Honour is on the staircase of the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library, which is currently closed for the Harris Your Place renovation works.

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Tony said: “I realised the link with the late soldier and his former home through working with the FoWS, who research the history of people who lived, went to school or worked on the square. More information about this, along with a copy of the Roll of Honour certificate, is displayed on the noticeboard on the edge of the gardens so people can read more about this interesting part of Preston’s history.

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“I make sure that the Tommy is placed in the park opposite Private Lynch’s former front door as a mark of respect to him and all that lost their lives through conflict. It also feels like part of Private Lynch did actually return home.”

As part of the Preston Cenotaph memorial, people started to compile the list in 1916 for completion in 1927 based on the names and details submitted by relatives during that time.

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Patricia Harrison, the Friends of Winckley Square chair, said: “The FoWS bought ‘Tommy’ a few years ago because many of the people associated with the square experienced both World Wars. Some died, others lost loved ones they want to remember, and others were associated with the war effort, such as establishing the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Buffet at Preston Railway Station.

“We tell many of their stories on our guided walks. Warden Tony takes great care and pride in placing Tommy where he stands in the same spot each year, surrounded by poppies. Every year, at 11am on the 11 November, a few people gather there to ‘Remember Them’. Anyone is welcome to join us.

“There are no words, just two minutes’ silence when we mark the sacrifices of others on our behalf.”

Preston city centre will mark Remembrance Day on Sunday, 13 November, at the Flag Market and Cenotaph from 10.30am.

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