Plaque commemorating Wirral flour mill workers who died during the Second World War finds a new home
A PLAQUE commemorating Wirral flour mill workers who died during the Second World War is to be given a new home in Herefordshire.
The solid bronze memorial lists the names of 16 men who worked at Buchanan Flour Mills at East Float dock in Birkenhead.
Buchanan’s biggest rival J Arthur Rank later bought the mill and the plaque was discovered in the firm’s Windsor offices in 1995 by employee Bernard Anderson.
His wife Dawn spent years trying to track down a family member and last year made contact with Robert Buchanan’s grandson Peter.
He is now trying to find relatives of the men named on the plaque before it moves to a home at Bosbury Church, Bosbury – near the former Buchanan family estate.
Mr Buchanan, 74, who lives near Monmouth, said: “I couldn’t believe it when Dawn told me about the plaque. I didn’t know of its existence.
“The church is happy to have the plaque but most of the men were relatively local. I would like any of their relatives who are still in Wirral to know of the existence and the whereabouts of the plaque.”
The mill, which was constructed and owned by Robert Buchanan, is understood to have been demolished in the 1980s, but grain stores he built nearby are now the luxury East Float Mill apartments.
Mr Buchanan, who co-founded the Liverpool Scottish Regiment, originally hoped one of his sons, Rab and Alan, would take over the mill and his estate in Bosbury.
But Alan was killed in the First World War on June 16, 1915 and Rab, who was also wounded in the conflict, told his father he wanted to be a civil engineer.
Robert Buchanan decided to give 750 acres of his estate to the nation and the mill was sold to his old rival J.A Rank.
The men listed on the plaque who died in conflict between 1939 and 1945 are Percy Armitage, William Cartwright, Harold Cleasby, Arthur Hoggett, Leonard Hunt, John Kerton, Robert Laird, Kenneth Lees, Alfred Longfield, Percy Maughton, Harold Naylor, Francis O'Hanlon, George Reid, Thomas Russell, Thomas Story and Sydney Williamson.
Another two men killed at the mill when it was bombed in March 1941 are named as Peter Jones and John Wilkinson.
Mr Buchanan said: “I visited the flats when I was in Wirral and it was moving to see them. It’s nice that part of something my grandfather built is still there.”
f you can help, contact Peter Buchanan at firstname.lastname@example.org