Poignant search for ceno­taph’s ‘last men’

Macclesfield Express - - BUSINESS - STU­ART GREER

AN his­to­rian is ap­peal­ing for in­for­ma­tion to track down the pasts of men named on a war me­mo­rial.

Harry Carlisle, 79, has de­voted the last two years to track­ing down the back­grounds of those killed dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

Of the 194 names fea­tured on the Park Green war me­mo­rial in Mac­cles­field he has some de­tails on all but one of them.

Now he is ap­peal­ing for de­tails of that soldier – Nor­man Leonard – as well as fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on the other fallen he­roes.

Their sto­ries and pho- tographs are to fea­ture in a new book com­mem­o­rat­ing their sac­ri­fice.

Harry, from Rainow, said: “I have searched long and hard for any de­tails on Nor­man Leonard but got nowhere. I am re­ally hop­ing that some­one can help fill in the blanks.

“So far my book in­cludes some­thing on 193 of the 194 men from Mac­cles­field who died in the Sec­ond World War, in­clud­ing 98 pho­tos of them. It is very emo­tive to read about these lives.

“Some of these men left a large foot­print and I have writ­ten two pages on them. Some of them have only a para­graph.

“I am also hop­ing that rel­a­tives will come for­ward with more de­tails so I can in­clude them be­fore it goes to the prin­ters in a few months.”

Harry, who is a for­mer soldier, be­gan re­search­ing the war dead af­ter be­com­ing in­ter­ested in his vil­lage’s war me­mo­rial.

Af­ter painstak­ingly check­ing through an­ces­try web­sites, the 1911 cen­sus, mil­i­tary records and the Mac­cles­field Ex­press ar­chives, and with help from the team at Mac­cles­field Re­flects, Harry was able to doc­u­ment the lives of the 667 men from the town who died dur­ing the First World War dead in his book “Not Just A Name”.

An­other of his books chron­i­cles the lives of men named on war memo­ri­als from 32 vil­lages around Cheshire.

Harry be­lieves his work is lay­ing the foun­da­tions for fu­ture re­search.

He said: “No sooner had I pub­lished ‘Not Just a Name’ more peo­ple came for­ward with in­for­ma­tion and the book needed up­dat­ing.

“I am sure the same will hap­pen when I fin­ish this book.

“I see this process as lay­ing the foun­da­tions for some­one else to up­date the records.”

If you can help Harry with his book call him on 01625 428331 or email ha­graven­rainow@bt­in­ter­net.com.

Matt Rat­cliffe

Harry Carlisle with his book at the Park Green ceno­taph

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