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Good as new – vandalised war memorial repaired free-of-charge

Published: Wednesday, 6 November, 2019

A vandalised memorial to Stroud’s war dead has been repaired in time for Remembrance Sunday.

Thanks to stonemason Steve Cottle of OL Cottle Memorials, the Stroud Cenotaph has been restored free-of-charge.

Sadly an addition to the memorial to people from Stroud who sacrificed their lives for their country was vandalised in June. Stroud Town Council’s Green Spaces Team spotted the damage and Stroud District Council received many kind offers of assistance and finance to repair it.

“We are grateful to everyone who offered to help,” said Stroud District Council Building Programmes Manager Brian McGough. “Mr Cottle installed the original stone and offered to repair it free-of-charge, which is a very kind gesture.”

The memorial is dedicated to those who fell in the First and Second World Wars, and commemorates the fallen of later conflicts including Northern Ireland. In October 2015 a dedication was added to mark the dead of all conflicts subsequent to the First World War, regardless of location.

It was believed that a chisel or other heavy tool was used to gouge out the engraving “And all subsequent campaigns” on the stone installed in 2015.

Land for Park Gardens was donated by Councillor Sidney Park as a memorial to his only son Herbert and all those who fell in the First World War. Herbert was killed in France on 26 October 1917 in a training accident. He was 23.

The memorial, which is Grade II listed, was erected in 1935 and unveiled by the widow of a local soldier, assisted by two holders of the Victoria Cross.

The inscription reads: 1914 – 1918/ TO THE FALLEN./ “AT THE GOING DOWN/ OF THE SUN AND IN/ THE MORNING WE WILL/ REMEMBER THEM.”/ 1939 – 1945/ AND ALL/ SUBSEQUENT/ CAMPAIGNS.

The memorial is the responsibility of Stroud District Council, and Stroud Town Council is responsible for the gardens.

Stroud Town Council Clerk, Helen Bojaniwska added: “We are grateful that the cenotaph has been fixed in time for Remembrance Sunday, and extend our thanks to Mr Cottle for his professional services.”

Anyone who can help police identify those responsible should contact them on 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers 0800 555111, quoting incident 525-17/06/19

The Remembrance Sunday Service will take place at Park Gardens from 10.40am this Sunday, November 10, and the Armistice Service will take place on Monday, November 11 at Stroud Subscription Rooms from 10.45am. As usual, Stroud District Council is flying the Royal British Legion Poppy flag at its Ebley Mill headquarters, and staff will observe the two minute silence on Monday.

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