THE family of a fallen First World War soldier have finally had his correctly spelled name added to a County Durham memorial following a century-long campaign.

Lance Sergeant James Bowtell was fighting with the Durham Light Infantry in the Battle of Passchendaele when he paid the ultimate sacrifice August 22, 1917, at the age of 23.

His name, incorrectly spelled as James Bowsell, was engraved on the war memorial of his home town, Ferryhill.

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Despite desperate efforts down the generations from his parents to his children and granddaughter, the name was never amended until now - just days before the centenary of the armistice.

Great-niece Kathryn Beetham, of Newton Aycliffe, said: “It’s nice the war memorial finally honours his proper name. When somebody has died fighting they should get their name on a memorial spelt right.

“It’s brought closure for the family and was a history that future generations (of the family) might not have known about.”

Lance Sgt Bowtell, who is buried at Perth Cemetery, in Belgium, left behind wife Edith and ten-month-old son James.

As an adult his son James made attempts to get his father’s correct name added to the war memorial in Ferryhill.

Following his death in 1976, his daughter Mary Pearson took on the fight to have her grandfather’s legacy recognised.

The 67-year-old has been supported by cousin John Bowtell, nephew of Lance Sgt Bowtell, and more than ten years ago she made another failed plea.

It is now thanks to the help of Miss Beetham, who was unaware of the family’s plight, that the soldier’s correct name has been added. The 52-year-old, who is a councillor for Great Aycliffe Town Council, spoke with Ferryhill Town Council and was initially told that an engraver informed the authority amending the name would not be possible.

After researching similar cases elsewhere in the UK, Miss Beetham found the names of previously incorrect spellings of soldiers had been latterly added.

Another engraver was enlisted and agreed to add the name to the war memorial, outside Ferryhill Town Council. The engraving was carried out last month, in time for the town’s remembrance service this Sunday.

Ms Pearson said: “I’m really pleased. I thought it was a bit of an insult. I wish my dad could have seen it.”