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Scarborough war hero to receive street naming tribute

25 November 2020

A Scarborough figurehead and war hero will be remembered for his lifetime of service after streets are named in his honour.

Pictured: from left, Tim Nixon, sales director of Persimmon Homes Yorkshire with John Senior.

Three streets on the Cayton Meadows development will provide a lasting tribute to Ernest Stabler Senior’s dedication to the town and his country. During the Second World War, Lieutenant Senior was mistakenly reported as killed in action but survived and, on his return to England, became a prominent figure in Scarborough.

The former Scarborough Councillor and president of Scarborough rugby club died in 1991. He had previously owned the land on which the new Persimmon Homes Cayton Meadows development is being built, and streets on the site will now be named Ernest Avenue, Stabler Way and Senior Drive. The naming request was led by Major John Senior MBE, Ernest’s son, supported by Persimmon Homes and confirmed by Scarborough Borough Council, as a fitting tribute.

Ernest joined the Territorial Army in 1932 and was then mobilised in 1939 and a year later he was posted to Singapore. During the Japanese invasion in February 1942 Ernest’s regiment came under a heavy and sustained artillery fire and air attack in which he was reported as killed in action. However, the severely injured Ernest crawled to a track and was rescued by an ambulance and taken to local aid station. It was not until early 1944 that Ernest was reported alive and received a Mention in Dispatches for courage under fire. Upon his return to the UK, Ernest endured numerous corrective operations but was declared disabled from his injuries.

Ernest and his wife, Marjorie moved to Scarborough in 1946 and owned Eves Café on Newborough for many years. During the 50’s he served as a Scarborough Borough Councillor, chairing housing committees, while reigniting his passion for rugby. Picking up the story, his son, John Senior explained: “In the late 60’s my dad became a trustee and eventually president of Scarborough Rugby Club. He was involved in the purchase of the Silver Royd site setting the foundation for the current clubhouse. In the early 60’s my parents farmed a 140-acre site at Cayton Bay and then later purchased the land on Church Lane, which is now being developed into 64 new properties by Persimmon Homes. On behalf of the family we are delighted that my father’s name will live on in the town he loved. My dad happily did so much for so many without care of thanks or recognition.”

Scott Waters, deputy managing director for Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, added: “We were very proud and pleased to support John’s request. As we welcome future generations to our Cayton Meadows development we feel it’s important to recognise those individuals who helped shape our past.”

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