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Sgt Windridge (2/24th.)
Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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Tim Needham has supplied information regarding the erection of a memorial to Sgt. Windridge.

Just to let you know that plans are well under way to provide a memorial over the sadly unmarked grave of Sgt Joseph Lenford Windridge (2/24th Regiment), defender of Rorke's Drift. He lies buried in Witton Cemetery, Birmingham.

Although he was buried in a communal grave, the cemetery authorities have kindly agreed that a simple 'desktop' type memorial can be placed on the plot; I spoke to a local stonemason recently who is willing to provide, inscribe & erect the stone at cost price (300 instead for the usual 600).

The good news is that most of this has already been raised, therefore if anybody is interested in contributing a small donation to help make up the remaining amount do please PM me.

Although one of the instantly recognisable names of the battle, it is worth reading Kris Wheatley's chapter on him from her series of books ('Legacy of the Rorke's Drift Heroes') to appreciate the particularly sad life he had on his return home.

Some members will be aware that two other Rorke's Drift men also lie buried in unmarked graves in the same cemetery (Ptes 1495 Robert Cole & 1399 Samuel Parry, also of the 24th Regt), and it is hoped that they too can be commemorated at some point in the form of a memorial plaque - this would be a nice idea if enough money was raised.

As ever, I will endeavour to arrange some kind of rededication ceremony later on in the year.

Regards,

Tim Needham


Last edited by Alan on Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:26 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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Thanks for all your effort Tim. Will you let us know of any dates when you know them.

Regarding the other two, if a donation is to be made, do you have details on how payments can be made.

Approximate post code for the cemetery is B6 7AE.

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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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From Tim Needham

If anyone wants to contribute, they can contact me and I can then give better info
on where cheques can be sent etc.
[email protected].

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Sgt Windridge
Colin Fielding


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Chelmsford, Essex
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Nice one Tim, well done.
I would like to make a contribution and have PM'd you with details.

Will be at Rorke's Drift in five weeks time, hurrah ! Surprised)

Best regs, Col.
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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Tim Needham has confirmed that the re-dedication will begin at 12.30pm on Sunday 29 November 2015;
see map with postcode. The ceremony will take place virtually next to the chapel. Parking can be found close to the chapel.

He is still hoping to arrange an informal reception on completion of the ceremony, and will
confirm when he can.

If any member in the Birmingham area, or further, would care to say a few words, or if anyone
wants to contribute, they can contact Tim for more info, or where cheques can be sent etc.
[email protected].

As ever, all are welcome to attend.


Last edited by Alan on Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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The time for the ceremony has had to change.
It will now commence at 12.30p.m.

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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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You would imagine that Sgt.Windridge had had ample suffering in his life but as this memorial card shows,
he and his wife lost six of their children in the space of 21 days.


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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
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I didn't know that - what a tragedy.

Peter
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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I'm planning to attend the ceremony. It would be good if any other members were able to go as well.
I'm aware that many members have not been active on the forum of late. I can understand that they
no longer feel the need to be as active on the subject but I assume that many became involved initially
because they have respect for the defenders and want them to be remembered.

I'd like to thank Tim Needham for his continued efforts in this regard.

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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
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Alan

I echo that sentiment. I can't be attend but hope that it goes well. I'll post details on Ian Knight's Zulu Facebook page.

Peter
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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Tim has informed me that he has managed to find somewhere for the informal reception
on completion of the ceremony -
Perry Common Community Hall, 87 Witton Lodge Road, Perry Common B23 5JD
(approx. 1.5 miles from the cemetery).
All welcome.

Free parking is available around the traffic island. There are 2 disabled parking spaces available
on the parking lot immediately outside the front of the building.

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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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It was a cold, overcast and very windy day for the service. Despite that, there was a good number of people there to remember the
three Rorke's Drift defenders who are buried in Witton cemetery, Sgt.Windridge, and Ptes Cole and Parry.

Present were representatives of various services, Royal British Legion, the young people of the Air Cadets, Army Cadets, The Royal Welsh
and relatives of the defenders. The Diehards provided the guard.

After the welcome by Councillor Anita Ward, Bill Cainan, former Curator at Brecon, gave a brief talk on the events on 22nd. January 1879.
He limited it to two hours due to the weather. (Kidding, it was brief but to the point). This was followed by an account of Windridge's life
and some of his misfortunes given by Graham Mason. The high wind and the noise of the distant M6 motorway weren't helpful.

Finally Father Oliver Cross, Royal British Legion, said prayers followed by the Last Post.



Although none of the three defenders have marked graves, two memorial plaques were unveiled by Mark Thursfield, descendant of
Sgt.Windridge and for Ptes Cole & Parry by Sandra Barker, descendant of Pte.Hitch. Wreaths were laid.



Our thanks go again to Drum Major Tim Needham RM for organising the event and to all those who contributed money and effort.

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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
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Thanks Alan - and Tim for the sterling work.
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Sgt Windridge (2/24th.)
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