In a heartfelt tribute to Rifleman Luke Farmer, who tragically lost his life in action in 2010, a new street of WDH affordable housing has been named in his honour. Luke, a native of Upton, Pontefract, bravely served in the Army’s 3rd Battalion, The Rifles, and made the ultimate sacrifice at the tender age of 19 while on patrol in Afghanistan.
Luke’s father, Mark Farmer, expressed his family’s desire to have a lasting memorial for Luke in the area. Following discussions with WDH and the Council, the opportunity arose to name a new street after him, which happened to be located just across from Luke’s childhood home, creating a poignant connection. Mark Farmer shared his emotions, stating, “Every day when I walk down my street, I will be able to look across and see his name. Words can’t even describe how much that means to me.”
The newly named street, Luke Farmer Way, is situated off Field Lane in Upton, Pontefract. Comprising 22 affordable homes managed by WDH, the street also pays tribute to Luke’s regiment, as some of the houses have been named after it. Tenants are expected to move into the properties at the end of July 2023.
Martyn Shaw, Deputy Chief Executive at WDH, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to honour Luke in this way. He highlighted the collaboration between WDH, Wakefield Council, and Luke’s family and friends during the dedication ceremony. Shaw remarked, “Naming this new street after Luke is a fitting and lasting tribute to an incredibly brave young soldier who sadly lost his life in service.”
Cllr Matthew Morley, Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways, emphasised the significance of naming roads to commemorate individuals who have made remarkable contributions. He paid homage to Luke, stating, “There is no greater sacrifice than the one that Luke made for his country, and I am honoured that we have been able to remember him, in his community for his family and future generations.”
The dedication ceremony, which took place on Thursday, 29 June, marked the official naming of Luke Farmer Way. Luke’s family, accompanied by members of his regiment and representatives from WDH, Wakefield Council, Efficiency North, and Mears Group, gathered for the solemn occasion. The Upton Arms provided refreshments for the attendees.
Kevin Holden, Health and Safety Director and Lead of the Armed Forces Group at Mears Group, expressed the company’s privilege in being part of this remarkable tribute. He remarked, “The naming of a street after him is such an incredible way of providing a fitting and lasting tribute to someone who sadly lost their life during service.”
Luke Farmer’s memory will forever be cherished through Luke Farmer Way, serving as a testament to his bravery and sacrifice for his country.