'˜Lost' Harborough soldier is finally honoured

An heroic Market Harborough soldier has finally had his name added to the town's war dead list - 78 years after he was killed in World War II.

Private Ballard William Coleman was honoured in a moving ceremony held at the Memorial Gates in the town centre on Saturday, September 1.

He was missed off the war memorial, erected at the end of the war, because the grandparents who brought him up had both died and his nearest relative, his sister, was seriously ill in hospital.

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It was his nephew Trevor Vendy who noticed the omission after moving to Maidwell in north Northamptonshire and visiting Market Harborough’s Memorial Gardens.

Private Ballard William ColemanPrivate Ballard William Coleman
Private Ballard William Coleman

Trevor (76) told the Mail: “I was looking at the crosses that are put up in the garden, and noticed there wasn’t one there for my uncle. I approached the Royal British Legion who approached the District Council.

“I must say the ceremony was very moving indeed, and the council really went to town and did everything properly.”

Private Coleman was just 19 when he died on a mission in Norway with the 1st/5th Battalion of the Territorial Army. His name is now a nameplate alongside fellow war heroes.

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Also at Saturday’s ceremony were Private Coleman’s niece Jill Rickard, Regimental representatives, the Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire, RBL representatives, Cadet Groups and councillors.

Cllr Lesley Bowles, chair of Harborough District Council said the event was “incredibly moving and poignant”.

John Standish, chairman of the town branch of the RBL, said: “The Royal British Legion believes it is important that all who gave their lives are suitably remembered.”