Orphans’ war memorial set for emotional homecoming

Harris War Memorial

Harris War Memorial

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A primary school could be reunited with its war memorial more than 30 years after the two were split up.

Campaigners want to move the First World War monument from the gardens of the former Harris Orphanage in Preston and resite it in the grounds of Harris Primary less than a mile away.

The move will need planning permission from the city council. But Tony Slater, the man behind the scheme, believes it should get Town Hall backing insisting: “We owe it to these very brave men not to squabble and not to raise petty issues to try and stop it.”

The memorial marks the supreme sacrifice made by 18 former pupils of the orphanage during the 1914-18 conflict. It became just a primary school in the 1940s and was moved to its present site in Wychnor, Fulwood in 1984.

“The Harris War Memorial has been lost to us for some time, but has never been forgotten, just as our old boys will always be remembered for their courage, dedication to duty and love for their country,” said headteacher Amanda Gregory.

“If the memorial is brought ‘home’ to us the pupils promise to look after it, respect the values it espouses and uphold the memory of those who it serves to honour.”

The monument, unveiled in 1924, was paid for by former orphanage boys and girls in honour of those killed in the Great War.

Mrs Gregory added: “For some time we have wanted to create a quiet, reflective space for our pupils and having the memorial here will provide an ideal focal point for contemplation.

“The children will walk past it every day, remembering with pride the great sacrifice made by the old boys who were once Harris pupils like themselves.”