Plaque unveiling for Lancaster soldier’s centenary

From left, County Councillor Lizzi Collinge, Lancaster MP Cat Smith, Jean Argles, the Standard Bearer, Andrew Halladay, the Mayor of Lancaster, Coun Roger Mace and the Mayoress, Joyce Mace with the plaque  at the Miss Whalley Field centenary event in Lancaster. Picture by Richard Evans.
From left, County Councillor Lizzi Collinge, Lancaster MP Cat Smith, Jean Argles, the Standard Bearer, Andrew Halladay, the Mayor of Lancaster, Coun Roger Mace and the Mayoress, Joyce Mace with the plaque at the Miss Whalley Field centenary event in Lancaster. Picture by Richard Evans.

Two plaques have been unveiled to commemorate a key figure who died in the war 100 years ago.

The Friends of Miss Whalley’s Field held a centenary event at Miss Whalley’s field on Derwent Road at the weekend.

The Mayor of Lancaster, Councillor Roger Mace, next to the plaque at the Miss Whalley Field centenary event in Lancaster. Picture by Richard Evans.

The Mayor of Lancaster, Councillor Roger Mace, next to the plaque at the Miss Whalley Field centenary event in Lancaster. Picture by Richard Evans.

The field was given to the people of Lancaster in memory of Captain Julian Whalley and the plaque commemorates the centenary of his death on December 3 2017.

The Mayor of Lancaster, Coun Roger Mace, the Mayoress Joyce Mace, County Coun Lizzi Collinge, Lancaster MP Cat Smith, Jean Argles (relative of Miss Whalley), and Andrew Halliday attended the event.

“On Remembrance Day at the Town Hall last month, we stood in silence to remember all those who lost their lives in the first and second world wars,” said Coun Mace, at the event.

“Now, we are here to remember one of those men, Captain Julian Whalley.

LRGS Army Cadets heading to the Miss Whalley Field centenary event in Lancaster. Picture by Richard Evans.

LRGS Army Cadets heading to the Miss Whalley Field centenary event in Lancaster. Picture by Richard Evans.

“A keen golfer, and President of Lancashire Golf Union in 1911, he was the only son of Colonel J Lawson Whalley, Colonel Commandant of the 3rd and 4th Batallions, Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, and of Lady Ashton, making him also the step son of Lord Ashton of Ryelands, Skerton – who gave Lancaster’s Town Hall to the city.

“A hundred years ago today, Captain Julian Whalley lost his life in the first World War at the battle of Cambrai in Northern France. He was only 33 when he died.

“Miss Geraldine Whalley, after whom this field is named, was Julian’s sister.

“Thanks to the wishes she expressed in her will and the legacy she left for the purpose, this field is provided in perpetuity, exclusively or mainly for the use and enjoyment of children resident in Lancaster.”

The Mayor of Lancaster, Coun Roger Mace, unveiling the plaque at the Miss Whalley Field centenary event in Lancaster. Picture by Richard Evans.

The Mayor of Lancaster, Coun Roger Mace, unveiling the plaque at the Miss Whalley Field centenary event in Lancaster. Picture by Richard Evans.

Andrew Halladay, of The Friends of Miss Whalley’s Field, which organised the event, and volunteers have worked to raise funds to purchase the stone plaque and the bench seating.

The first plaque unveiled explains the history of the field.

The second has been presented by the “Fields in Trust” organisation – in association with the British Legion.

It recognises the connection of this field to World War One.

Two time capsules have also been buried in the ground beneath the bench.

These capsules contain work by pupils from the Ridge Primary School and Central Lancaster High School.

“It is young children like those present today who Miss Whalley intended would use this field,” said Coun Mace.

“I know that some of the children whose work is in the time capsules are here with us at this event.

“Perhaps one or more of you children will return in 50 or 60 years’ time to witness the digging up of the time capsules.

“In the meantime, do please all of you continue to enjoy this green space.

“And I also encourage you to support Andrew Halliday and his team as they continue to look after it.”