Rainhill to be twinned with French village that honoured local war hero

Rainhill war memoria
Rainhill war memoria

Rainhill is to be twinned with a tiny French village where a local war hero was buried after being shot down during World War One.

Villages in Latour-en-Woëvre buried Rainhill pilot Thomas Jones after he was killed during the Great War and have tended his grave ever since.

Now Rainhill and Latour-en-Woëvre, which is in north eastern France, will be officially twinned at a ceremony in which 17 overlooked WWI heroes will have their names added to the public war memorial.

Their addition comes after investigations by Brian Renshall, of the Rainhill Civic Society, revealed that the names of Rainhill’s fallen listed in St Ann’s Church did not fully match those on the Public War Memorial.

The parish council launched a public appeal in March to discover any other residents who also had been overlooked.

The appeal uncovered six more names, five identified by Anne Slater, also of Rainhill Civic Society, and a sixth raised by the granddaughter of another of the fallen.

The parish council unanimously agreed to fund a total of 17 names to be added to the War Memorial at a ceremony on the July 3 to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the first Battle of the Somme.

Rainhill Parish and West Park ward councillor for St Helens Council, Derek Long, said: “By commemorating these lost names, we are, in a small way, bringing home the relatives and neighbours who never came home after the war.

“Their names are testimony to all those who have served on our behalf in the past 100 years.”

Details of all Rainhill’s fallen soldiers can be found on the Rainhill Remembered website at http://www.rainhillremembers.uk/fallen-soldiers.html

All are welcome to attend the ceremony, which will take place on July 3 at 2pm. St Helens Mayor and Mayoress, Councillors Dave and Jeanette Banks will also be present.

The British Legion will give a roll call of the names to be added, together with a dedication to those Rainhill residents known to have died during the Battle of the Somme, followed by the last post.