A MEMORIAL commemorating 100 years since the First World War ended has been installed on a housing development built on Tranmere Rovers former training ground.

The all-weather information board forms part of a landscaped area at Bellway Homes' Mallory Park estate on Ingleborough Road in Tranmere.

Formerly the memorial playing fields of Birkenhead Institute, the land is of historical significance as it commemorated the 88 former pupils from the school who lost their lives while fighting for their country between 1914 and 1918.

Unveiled by former Birkenhead Institute 'old boy' Dick Bell, along with the Mayor of Wirral Cllr Geoffrey Watt and Bellway Homes’ managing director David Williams, the memorial features text and images that explain its important connection to historical events and has retained a section of the original railings that formed the site perimeter.

A poignant poem entitled 'Field of Dreams' written by Dick takes pride of place on the board, and the 98-year-old planted a tree in memory of the lives that were lost, originally symbolised by 88 trees planted around the perimeter of the playing field after the war.

Former old boy, Alun Hughes, assisted with the unveiling.

He said: "Given the historical significance of the site, it was important to install a memorial and we are grateful to Bellway for fulfilling its promise to provide one.

"This morning has been a time for reflection and remembrance and we are thrilled that Dick was able to be with us to officially unveil the plaque and significantly plant a new tree in remembrance."

Mayor Geoffrey Watt added: "The Birkenhead Institute is very well known locally, and almost everyone knows someone who attended the school or used the playing fields for leisure or recreation.

"It's wonderful to be able to recognise their local importance in this way."

Bellway Homes' managing director David Williams said: "We were delighted to facilitate the community request for a memorial and have also named two roads at the development in honour of those who lost their lives in service; Memorial Drive and Archway Road.

"It was a privilege to be here today and stand alongside Dick for the unveiling.”

As a memento and thank you for his service and help with the unveiling, a mini version of the information board was presented to Dick by David, Alun, Cllr Watt and other members of the Old Boy Alumni.

Consent for homes to be built on Ingleborough Road fields was given in 2012.

The application sparked controversy as the field was set aside in the aftermath of the First World War as "a living memorial" to 88 old boys of Birkenhead Institute Grammar School.

Among them was celebrated trenches poet Lt Wilfred Owen, who served on the Somme and was killed at Ors a week before the armistice. Owen's works, including Dulce et Decorum Est and Anthem for Doomed Youth, led him to be posthumously recognised as one of the greatest war poets.

A brick pavilion, archway, flagstaff and bell tower were built with donations from pupils and relatives and 88 poplar trees, one for each boy killed, were planted.