Cambridgeshire

Shepreth war memorial: Woman wins fight over misspelt name

Shepreth war memorial, Cambridgeshire
Image caption Pte George Samuel's name was mistakenly given an extra "s" on the memorial

A 67-year-old woman has won her fight to have her great-uncle's name spelt correctly on a village war memorial.

Pte George Samuel died aged 20 in World War I, but his name was misspelt as "Samuels" on the memorial at Shepreth, Cambridgeshire.

Alison Corfield, of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, said the misspelling had caused his parents "great distress" after the war ended.

Shepreth Parish Council has now agreed to remove the erroneous "s".

Council chairman Donna Thomas said a stonemason had given advice and changes would be made.

"We will be making the amendment to the war memorial and will be covering the cost," she said.

Covered with mud

Image caption Pte George Samuel died in 1916, aged 20

"We have also spoken to the local vicar and she has said that once the correction has been made there will be a re-dedication and we will be inviting the family to attend."

Susan van de Ven, a Liberal Democrat member of Cambridgeshire County Council who represents Shepreth and surrounding villages, added: "There could not be a more fitting time to put things right."

Mrs Corfield said she was delighted by the parish council's decision, and very grateful.

She said authorities had refused to correct the mistake after the memorial was erected and Pte Samuel's family had tried to hide the extra "s" by covering it with mud.

She wrote to councillors arguing that a change would be appropriate as the 100th anniversary of the start of the 1914-18 war approached.

She said Pte Samuel was a soldier in the London Regiment, and believes he fought in the Battle of the Somme - which began in July 1916.

"He was killed on 30 September 1916. He died of wounds and is buried at St Pierre cemetery in Amiens," said Mrs Corfield.

"There is a family story that when he joined up he said: 'I'm going now and I don't expect to be back'."

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