Blue plaques to war hero and suffragette unveiled at Wharf

Blue plaques to war hero and suffragette unveiled at Wharf

by Henry James (October 2020)

A WAR hero and a suffragette campaigner have been recognised with two Blue Plaques at Burscough Wharf.

The lives of Edward Bridge and Harriett Mahood were due to be honoured in April, but this was delayed because of the pandemic.

The Blue Plaques were finally installed on Wednesday, September 23.

Due to present Covid restrictions organisers were unable to hold a ceremony and hopefully this will be done at some stage next year.

Edward Bridge was born in September 1893. He was awarded the Military Medal (MM) during the First World War for wiping out a German machine gun post.

During the Second World War, he was given the British Empire Medal and was sent a personally signed letter from Prime Minister Winston Churchill saying he had been “stirred” to hear of Edward’s war work despite his injuries.

Edward had become bed-ridden between the wars due to severe injuries, which his family believe were due to fighting in World War One.

While convalescing, Edward began to take up an interest in radios and learnt Morse Code and obtained a licence from the government. He was recruited by the Radio Security Service (RSS) as a Voluntary Interceptor.

He intercepted a message in July 1940 that led to his British Empire Medal, and was “extremely valuable” to the war effort.

Harriett Mahood was born in November 1860 in Liverpool. She originally ran a floristry business in Wallasey and founded Mahood’s Nursery on Red Cat Lane after moving to Burscough.

She was a women’s rights campaigner and suffragette and was the first female deacon in the Baptist Church in England.

Michael Dawson, who is one of the people behind the project to get the Blue Plaques installed, said it had been “a great team effort.”

A local drama group based at the Wharf are hopefully going to perform, at some point, a short play about Harriett and Edward while special booklets, designed by Trevor Bridge, have been published, and are being delivered to local schools and care homes.

Mr Dawson added: “We would like to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund who have generously supported and funded this project.

“The funding as applied for successfully through my Images of Burscough Voluntary Community Group.”

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