The memorial was originally unveiled on 7th December 1924. The main central obelisk stands 35 feet high and has a female allegorical figure of victory on top. At the bottom of the obelisk is a figure of a soldier and a sailor.
The original plaque remembering the men from Keighley was updated after the second world to add the date of that war.
As the end of the last millennium approached The Royal British Legion wanted to update the memorial so that service men of all wars could be remembered.
The nearest regiment to Keighley is based in Halifax and is the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. The memorial stone has both the names of The Royal British Legion and the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.
There are also a number of crests. The regiment was originally formed by merging two older regiments – “the 33rd (or the 1st West Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment of Foot” and the “76th (Hindoostan) Regiment”. This history is remembered by showing each regimental crest. To match these there are also two crests of the Royal British Legion.
At the time of the millennium, Keighley was part of the Metropolitan Borough of Bradford, and it gave permission for the new stone to be added to the main memorial.
The new stone plaque also included an extract from the poem ‘For The Fallen’ written by World War I poet Laurence Binyon (1869 – 1943).
His poem was based on his early experiences during World War I, and his fourth stanza is often used on war memorials.
The full text of the stone is shown below, the last part of the inscription is the poem.
THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION
MILLENNIUM YEAR 2000
THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON'S
IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE
SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY
TEHY SHALL GROW NOT OLD, AS WE THAT ARE LEFT GROW OLD:
AGE SHALL NOT WEARY THEM, NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN.
AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
It should be noted that there is a misquote on the memorial. According to the website line 2 of the stanza is
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn
On the memorial the word contemn as been inscribed as condemn
Before I started waymarking I had never heard of the word contemn, but according to Dictioanry.com it means to 'Treat or regard with contempt'.
The line does make sense with the word condemn, but I think contemn is better (providing you understand what it means).
The memorial is a Grade II listed Building, English Heritage ID 1313949 http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/resultsingle.aspx?uid=1313949.
It is also listed in the UK National Inventory of War Memorials under reference 2106. http://www.ukniwm.org.uk/server/show/conMemorial.2106/fromUkniwmSearch/1
The sculptor of the bronze figures was H. C. Fehr and they were cast by J. W. Singer and Sons.
For the new millennium stone, The War Memorials Trust gave a grant of £250 towards the cost of this work.
According to their website The Royal British Legion is the following organisation.
The Royal British Legion provides welfare to the whole Armed Forces family - serving, ex-Service and their dependants. We also campaign on issues affecting Service people, are the custodian of Remembrance, run the Poppy Appeal and are one of the UK's largest membership organisations. http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/about-us
To record a visit to a Millennium Waymark, please:
Take a photo of the item during your visit.
Describe your visit and what you thought about the item.
Please also mention what you personally did to mark the new Millennium. Was it a night to remember?