A brighter future for village war memorial

The dismantling of the war memorial in Middleton Cheney ahead of its refurbishment. NNL-150202-161314001
The dismantling of the war memorial in Middleton Cheney ahead of its refurbishment. NNL-150202-161314001

The first phase of restoration work on Middleton Cheney’s First World War Memorial is underway.

The memorial was erected in 1921, at All Saints Church, but has become badly eroded with names of some of the fallen disappearing and the cross becoming unsafe.

Around £12,000 has been raised, including three charitable donations, to return the memorial to its former glory.

It is largely being replaced using stone from the quarry at Great Tew. Stonemasons Boden & Ward have dismantled the memorial and exposed the foundations.

The memorial pieces have been taken back to the stonemasons’ yard whole so they can be copied, although one piece has been left in place as it shows little sign of erosion.

Excavation work has revealed the foundations consist of one, two-inch thick slab of stone, so a new slab of concrete will need to be laid.

A spelling error in the name of one of the fallen is also to be corrected and the name of a soldier who died in 1921 from tuberculosis, but who served with the Royal Army Service Corps, William George Timms, is to be added. His descendants still live in the village. A rededication ceremony is being held on May 14 at 3.45pm, with primary school children re-enacting a picture of the original memorial’s dedication. Refreshments will be served.