Council halts plans for war heroes' memorial stone at Ross Castle in Cleethorpes
COUNCIL bosses have stopped a memorial stone for those who sacrificed their lives to save others at sea from being laid at a Cleethorpes landmark.
The Humber Branch of the Air and Sea Marine Craft Section (ASMCS) raised £2,500 for a memorial stone to be placed at Ross Castle.
The stone would have been a permanent reminder of sacrifices made by 22 ASR Grimsby and 1110 Marine Craft Unit at Immingham, which rescued bombers which ended up in the treacherous North Sea during the Second World War.
But North East Lincolnshire Council leader councillor Chris Shaw and deputy leader Mick Burnett said the stone cannot be laid there because several other armed forces groups also want to lay memorial plaques in honour of their comrades.
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Now they are drawing up plans to put a memorial gate for all armed forces associations at the pillars leading to the main promenade as an alternative.
Councillor Mick Burnett said the council is "committed" to all past and present members of the armed forces, but if all associations laid plaques at and around Ross Castle they would "lose their impact".
He said: "We fully support all the associations connected with the armed forces, but we already have the Strike Wing Memorial there and there are other associations that want to do the same thing, any more would lose their impact.
"We are now looking at a different way of remembering all armed forces and we think something for everyone would be far better than a large number of different plaques.
"We have due reverence to all those who ultimately lost their lives to save others and this is reflective of that."
Trevor Smith, 78, formerly of the Royal Air Force Sea Rescue Service, is a member of ASMCS and has agreed to work with the council, but is disappointed.
He claims permission for the original stone had been granted by officers, however, a spokesman for the council was unable to confirm if this had been the case.
Mr Smith said: "All we want is somewhere to remember the men. We are all getting older; I am 78 and one of the youngest, but some members are into their 90s. We have just lost our oldest member at 98.
"The general public have been so supportive and we were amazed with how quickly we raised the money. We are so thankful and grateful to everyone who donated."
A meeting will be held with ASMCS, the council and other armed forces groups.
Mr Smith added: "It feels like we have been pushed out to one side and now the council are going to take over. We are prepared to go ahead with them, but we are not sure how things will turn out now."
Keep checking your Grimsby Telegraph for further updates.