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Grant boost for work to repair city's war memorials

Published on Friday, March 2, 2018

A FINAL phase of work to repair and conserve every war memorial in Leicester is set to get under way thanks to a grant from War Memorials Trust.

The charity – which is supported by the Government’s First World War Memorials Programme and Historic England – has awarded the city council almost £7,000 to help fund the repair and conservation of three community memorials.

Aylestone War Memorial, the Leicester South African (Boer) War Memorial in Town Hall Square, and the First World War memorial at Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College will all benefit from the planned works.

This will include stone cleaning and repointing, repairs to plinths and paving, metal cleaning and recoating, repainting of inscriptions and re-gilding of lettering where required.

The total cost of works to all three memorials is expected to be about £10,000, and will be part-funded by the city council.

It follows city council-led projects to renovate war memorials at Bridge Road, Evington Village, St George’s Churchyard and Victoria Park.

Cllr Adam Clarke, deputy city mayor and the council’s heritage champion, said: “We are very grateful to War Memorials Trust. The support will help us to complete a citywide programme of work to renovate, repair and conserve all of our war memorials.

“War memorials have an important role in local neighbourhoods and we have a duty to ensure they are cherished and protected for future generations.

“I’m really pleased that this work will ensure that all our memorials will be looking their best in time for the city’s commemorations of the centenary of Armistice Day in November.”

Frances Moreton, Director, War Memorials Trust, said: “War memorials are a tangible connection to our shared past creating a link between the fallen and today. It is vital we ensure all our war memorials are in the best possible condition for their age and the charity is delighted to support these projects.

“The centenary of World War I is a wonderful opportunity for local communities across the country to protect and conserve their war memorials.”

The Aylestone War Memorial was designed by sculptor Joseph Herbert Morcom and first dedicated in 1921. The tall memorial cross stands at St Andrew’s churchyard, Old Church Street, and commemorates 46 local men who died in the First World War and a further 32 during World War II.

The First World War memorial at Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College was designed by Col J C Baines, a former pupil of Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys (as the college was then known) who went on to command a battalion of the Leicester Regiment during the Great War.

It was dedicated in 1922, with additional memorial gates and gate piers added in 1950 in memory of those who lost their lives in the Second World War.

The Leicester South African (Boer) War Memorial on the corner of Town Hall Square was dedicated in 1909. Designed by architect John Breedon Everard, it features three figurative sculptures – symbolising grief, peace and war – by artist Joseph Crosland McClure. It lists 315 names of fallen soldiers.

All of the city’s community war memorials are now grade II-listed.

The Arch of Remembrance on Victoria Park is one of seven grade I-listed war memorials designed by Edwin Lutyens. This includes the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

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Notes to editors:

War Memorials Trust is an independent registered charity. Established in 1997 due to concerns about neglect and vandalism, it works to protect and conserve war memorials. It provides advice, information and administers grants schemes that assist the repair and conservation of war memorials across the UK. As a charity, the trust relies on voluntary contributions to undertake its work. Supporters include annual and life members, donors, charitable trusts and corporate contributions. For more information visit: www.warmemorials.org