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Tribute to forgotten Horsham heroes unveiled

Overlooked war heroes were finally remembered when more than 40 new names were unveiled at Horsham’s war memorial on Wednesday.

Descendants watched on as the chairman of Horsham District Council performed the ceremony for Horsham servicemen and women who gave their lives 65 years ago during WWII but have only just been publicly acknowledged.

Cllr Tricia Youtan also laid a wreath of remembrance as part of the annual Armistice service in the Carfax.

In addition to Remembrance Sunday, the Horsham Branch of the Royal British Legion and the council organised the short morning ceremony.

For local historian Gary Cooper the unveiling was a special moment. More than 20 years of his dedicated research helped trace the missing names.

They now join those from World War One, to which a special plaque was put up seven years ago to acknowledge those who had been left off the original 1914-18 memorial.

For some reason lost in the distant past the town’s leaders decided not to list all the fallen after the end of the war in 1945 but instead installed a simple plaque saying: “Also in memory of those who gave their lives in Second World War 1939-1945”.

In 1992, a list of those servicemen and women who died in World War Two was drawn up and a plaque was added to the Memorial Wall, which forms a backdrop to the stone obelisk. That list was created by diligent research, and Mr Cooper’s work meant that 43 names have put on the memorial.

Cllr Youtan gave the dedication speech before the two minutes silence.

Children from St. Mary’s Primary School, Horsham, represented future generations the future and planted 12 remembrance crosses at the memorial.

Mr Cooper said of his exhaustive work: “I thought it had to be done, so that’s why I did it. If you do anything like this you just have to be a bit bloody minded, because you can think of all sorts of reasons for not doing it.”

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