Remembrance Day: Winckley Square remembers Preston fallen hero

A fallen soldier who features on Preston's Roll of Honour has been remembered during the run up to Remembrance Sunday in Winckley Square Gardens.
Preston City Council Warden, Tony Lewis with the 'Tommy' in Winckley SquarePreston City Council Warden, Tony Lewis with the 'Tommy' in Winckley Square
Preston City Council Warden, Tony Lewis with the 'Tommy' in Winckley Square

Private Joseph Lee Lynch, motor engineer in the West Yorkshire Regiment, lived at number 18 Winckley Square but sadly never returned home from World War I.

Preston City Council Warden, Tony Lewis, realised the link in 2018 when the Friends of Winckley Square (FoWS) bought the Tommy to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War in 2018.

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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 in the noticeboard on the edge of the Gardens so people can read more about this interesting part of Preston's history.

"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 indeed all that lost their lives through conflict.

"By placing the Tommy here, it also feels like part of Private Lynch did actually return home."

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Preston's Roll Of Honour features on the staircase of the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library, which is currently closed for the Harris Your Place renovation works.

As part of the Preston Cenotaph memorial, the list started to be compiled in 1916 and was completed in 1927 based on the names and details submitted by relatives during that time.

Patricia Harrison, Chair of Friends of Winckley Square, said: "The FoWS bought 'Tommy' a few years ago because many of the people associated with the Square experienced both World Wars.

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"Some died, others lost loved ones they want to remember, and others were associated with the war effort at home such as establishing the Soldiers' and Sailors' Buffet on Preston railway station. We tell many of their stories on our guided walks.

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"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 11 am 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, on the Flag Market and Cenotaph from 10.30am.

It will begin from 10.30am with a parade seeing the Mayor, Veterans, Armed Forces and others walk from Earl Street, along Birley Street to the Flag Market in readiness for the service at 10.55am.

At the end of the service, there will be an opportunity for the public to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph. As the Harris hoarding will reduce capacity for the public to stand on the Flag Market, a large screen placed under cover of the Fish Market Canopy (corner of Market Street and Earl Street) will show the event.

There is more information on the Winckley Square history and guided walks.

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