A comment was made on the recent post about the Memorial on Cartwright Street by 'SC' saying that he (or is that she?) remembered when the soldier's head was frequently knocked off by drunks and feckless youths and that he/she was glad to see that he was intact again. Well, yes he is intact, but that isn't him standing at the end of Cartwright Street. This is the original - and sometime headless - soldier:
He stands in Hyde Town Hall at the top of the stairs facing you as you go through the main doors on Market Street. The plaque at his feet says:
The Newton War Memorial
This is the original 'Little Soldier' statue, which was bought
with donations from
local residents, and was sited at the junction of Cartwright Street
and Victoria Street, in Newton, Hyde.
The Statue was replaced with a bronze replica in 2005
I too remember seeing the statue so many times without a head and the bronze replacement should ensure that there will be no recurrences of such vandalism.
Also in the Town Hall and attached to the railings of that staircase are these two plaques dating from the Second World War:
I am indebted to this site for the following explanation of the War Savings Campaign:
'Community campaign weeks during WW2
"The People's War" is a term that has been applied to the Home Front in Britain during the Second World War. One key feature of this "People's War" that reached out to every community in Britain was the War Savings Campaign. This was run by Sir Robert Kindersley on behalf of the British Government, mainly as an extension of the National Savings Movement which he had led before the war.
Savings groups were organised in each local community throughout the country. On the one hand the War Savings Campaign encouraged thrift at an individual level and on the other hand brought together the community by fund raising for large-scale campaigns such as the 'Spitfire Fund' (1940), 'War Weapons Week' (1941), 'Warship Weeks' (1941 / 1942), 'Wings For Victory Week' (1943) and 'Salute the Soldier Week' (1944).
The pattern of these campaign weeks involved a community being set a large monetary target. Ostensibly, the idea was to save a sufficient amount of money to support the airman, sailor or soldier have the means to win the war. During the campaign week, the organising committee arranged events in support of the campaign, which might include meetings about the war, speeches by decorated war heroes and visits by Government ministers or royalty. Generally speaking, each community met or surpassed its target by a combination of individual saving groups, insurance companies and local banks or other financial institutions.
The campaign week was also supported by the local newspaper for each community. Overall, these campaigns tended to bring together the local community and the service man or woman. Everyone was united in their intention of winning the war.
Some weeks or months after the campaign week, each community received a commemorative plaque similar to the ones seen in the photographs above. The commemorative plaques for the other campaigns are of a similar design. Usually they were placed in place of honour, such as at the Town Hall or local museum. Some, like the ones in the photograph, have survived into the modern era and are still on display. They remain a silent if unobtrusive reminder of the times when communities united as one in standing up to Adolf Hitler and Nazi tyranny during the "People's War" between 1939 and 1945.'