THE possibility of creating a new public memorial for people who died in Bournemouth during the Second World War is being explored by the leader of BCP Council

Former Bournemouth councillor Roger West, himself born during the war, made the request at the Tuesday meeting of the council.

He said that, unlike many other parts of the country, the town lacked a public memorial to those who had died at home rather than overseas.

"Bournemouth does not have a war memorial with names on it unlike any other town I have visited," he said.

"We have two books of remembrance locked away behind closed doors. This is wrong.

“I am a war baby whose family suffered greatly during the war.

“Three of our family homes were destroyed – two with me in them.

“Would the council provide the support for a fund to have a war memorial with names on it? I would be willing to contribute to such a fund and I’m sure I would not be alone.”

He also called for a new digitised book of remembrance to be created so that people can easily leave their own messages, contribute information and connect with lost friends and relatives.

Mr West referred to the example of New Zealand-born pilot Cecil Hight who died after ditching his fighter plane in Meyrick Park during the Battle of Britain in 1940.

He is buried in a Commonwealth War Graves Commission grave at Bournemouth East Cemetery and was memorialised through the naming of Pilot Hight Road in Bournemouth.

In response to Mr West’s request, council leader Vikki Slade said she supported the creation of a new focal point.

“The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area had significant activity in the Second World War,” Cllr Slade said.

“As well as losing large numbers in military conflict, there will have been many affected at home through bombings, accidents and other related incidents.

“We know some of these victims have recognition within their own communities but it does seem fitting that we look at a wider memorial.”

Cllr Slade said she had asked the council’s armed forces champion, councillor David Kelsey, to look into the feasibility of a new memorial and possibilities for funding it.