GRIMSBY heroes who lost their lives during the Great War are to be remembered during a special service, to be held on the West Marsh.

And the call has gone out for relatives of those lost, along with local residents, to take part in the service, which will be held at the permanent home of the area’s Memorial Cross and is being supported by our IGNITE team.

The Cross was donated to the Little Coates Parish of Grimsby in 1920 by Captain Oscar Dixon of the Dixon’s Paper Mill Company and was originally sited at Little Coates School, in Harlow Street.

However, after being repositioned on the corner of Gilbey Road and Harlow Street it was hit by vandals. Following graffiti and arson attacks in 2005, it was taken to West Marsh Community Centre – a move that was supported by the Grimsby Telegraph, along with ConocoPhillips (now Phillips66) and B&H Construction.

The Memorial Cross, cleaned of graffiti, was blessed in its new home by Canon Michael Hunter, the former Rector of Grimsby.

Since then a remembrance garden has been developed around the Cross, and this year – to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the War, it is to be added to the country’s list of buildings that have Special Architectural Historical Interest.

West Marsh Community Centre manager Neil Barber said: “The Cross is of such importance to the area of Little Coates and the West Marsh and we wish to raise the awareness that it is here for all.”

Neil wants people to go along on the 11th day of November, at the 11th hour, for the special service to commemorate the end of the War 100 years ago.

He is particularly interested to trace members of the Dixon Paper Mill family along with relatives of fallen soldiers who are still living in the West Marsh and Little Coates areas.

“We also want local schools, or anyone from this area who is currently serving in the Armed Forces, to join us for this very special occasion,” added Neil.

The last contact Neil had with a member of the Dixon family was in 2014, when he received a letter from Oscar Dixon’s grandson Tim Dixon, who lived in Louth.

West Marsh Community Centre is a member of VANEL’s Volunteer Development Service, which as many of you will know offers support to charitable organisations, and it is helping raise awareness of the event.

Our Chief Officer, Paula Grant, said: “We offer our member organisations a whole variety of support and when we heard what Neil was planning, we were pleased to be able to help.”

If anyone would like to be involved or knows any other members of the Dixon family, please get in touch with Neil on 01472 269230.

MEMBERS of the West Marsh Community Youth Group, which meets every Thursday at the Community Centre, will be helping towards the November 11 ceremony – creating poppies to decorate the area around the Cross.

The club is organised by estate resident and our very own Victoria Russell – who is a Youth Leadership Worker with the IGNITE team.

Victoria’s West Marsh Group is open to anyone aged four to 18 years (under 7s must be accompanied by an adult). They can attend between 4.30pm and 6pm on Thursdays when a variety of activities and events are held – from football to boxercise and arts and crafts. The cost is just £1.

For more details please email Victoria at victoria@vanel.org.uk