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Maintenance works starts on Shropshire war memorials

Oswestry | News | Published:

A number of war memorials in Shropshire and Mid Wales are undergoing maintenance work in readiness for commemorations to mark the outbreak of the conflict 100 years ago.

And a number of events have been taking place to raise funds towards the memorials' upkeep.

Little Wenlock Parish Council has been holding a fundraising drive to renovate the village's memorial, in the churchyard of St Lawrence's, which was paid for with public donations and unveiled in 1921.

The council has been helped by the War Memorials Trust, which has been advising it on how best to protect the memorial for the future.

The work has included having a stone mason re-cut the lettering.

Meanwhile work to restore an unusual war memorial in Oswestry is due to be completed by the start of next week.

Contractors from the War Memorials Restoration Company based in Cardiff have been working on Oswestry's memorial, which is in the form of large marble plaques set into the town's park gates.

In the past month the contractors have cleaned the monuments, repainted the railings and gates, and new marble plaques have replaced the heavily stained original features.

Town mayor Councillor John Gareth Jones said he had seen some of the work that had been done to clean up the gates and replace damaged panels.

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"It's looking very good," he said. "The contractors are due to be off site on Monday and they will look very good when all the scaffolding comes away."

In the past month the contractors have been replacing the huge marble plaques in readiness for planned commemorations for the centenary of World War I in August.

The original memorial was commemorated on December 31, 1921 by Brigadier General J V Campbell and was erected by public subscription.

The names of those who died during the Second World War were later added to the back of the pillars.

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In 1986 the memorial was given a Grade II listing by English Heritage.

A First World War memorial in Shrewsbury received a facelift in the spring after standing hidden and unloved for years.

The memorial at St Michael's Church, which contains 72 names, was built in 1921 and was spruced up following a £400 donation from Morris Lubricants of Ditherington Road.

The memorial now will be central to a special service to be held on August 4 to mark Britain's entry into the war.

Elsewhere in the county a fund has been set up to raise money for the restoration of the Llanyblodwel and Porthywaen war memorial, which records residents of the parish who fell in the First World War.

And people wishing to pay their respects to Welshpool's VC recipient William Waring will find a freshly cleaned stone as well. The stone plaque is in the churchyard at Christchurch, Welshpool, and has been cleaned up by Welshpool Town Council after being asked by the Welshpool branch of the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

The Shropshire War Memorials Association has also been busy. The voluntary group is responsible for monitoring the condition of the county's war memorials and carries out fundraising for restoration and maintenance work.

In recent months the group has raised funds for four plaques for Shropshire-born Victoria Cross holders and arranged the refurbishment of Roll of Honour plaques in Bicton Church, Upton Magna, and St Julian's Shrewsbury.

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