Bid to trace town’s memorial plaque

Walter Martin planting a tree in Market Square, Midhurst, in memory of his late uncle in Midhurst, Ontario
Walter Martin planting a tree in Market Square, Midhurst, in memory of his late uncle in Midhurst, Ontario

THE RACE is on to locate a missing Midhurst plaque before the unveiling of the new Market Square in August.

Midhurst Town Trust has issued a plea for anyone who knows the whereabouts of a memorial plaque, which used to be positioned at the base of the oak tree in the square, to come forward.

Secretary of the trust, Tim Rudwick, said the plaque had fallen off its post many years ago and no one knows what happened after that.

It had initially been placed by the tree in 1981.

“Some years after that the post it was on rotted away,” he said.

“Someone may have picked it up and taken it away.”

The small blue plaque had white writing on it.

An article published in the Observer on December 31, 1981, tells the story of the planting of the North American Red Oak in the town square.

The tree was planted in memory of Charles Day, who left England in 1919 to join the Forestry Commission in Midhurst, Ontario.

He passed away in 1980 and the tree was planted by his nephew Walter Martin in memory of his uncle, who left Midhurst when he was 20 years old.

Many residents still remember the plaque and the inscription is believed to have read something similar to In Memory of Charles Day of Midhurst,Ontario

The town trust has asked anyone who might remember what became of the plaque, or knows of its current location, to contact them.

“It’s for local interest,” Mr Rudwick added.

“We’ve had people saying for ages it should be put back in.

“People felt it should be put back on and now’s as good a time as any.”

He said the plaque had been positioned by the tree for a good few years.

He added maybe someone might have it stashed away at home somewhere and their memory might be jogged the call for its return.

“It could be in a shed somewhere,” he said.

Ideally, the plaque would be repositioned at the time of the new Market Square’s official unveiling on Saturday, August 3.

The trust said it hoped many people from the town would gather there at midday to help celebrate with those involved in the long-term project to restore the square.