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War memorials to be restored to their former glory

2 war memorials are set to be restored to their former glory as Wolverhampton marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Katie Dunn, Yvonne Wilson, the Reverend Peter Smith, Mayor of W’ton Cllr Phil Page, Chair of the CWC’s Remembrance Cttee Cllr Leach and Graiseley Cllr Sweetman with the Pennfields, Bradmore and Merry Hill war memorial, which is set to be restored
War Memorial

L-R Rector, Richard Reeve, Cllr Leach, Rob Marris, Cyril Randles, the Rev'd Dr Allen Roberts from St Michael’s, Tettenhall Regis Cllr Yardley, Major Sylvia Parkin MBE, Duty Lieutenant of West Midlands & Phil Deeming from Tettenhall Community Network
War Memorial

The memorials, in Church Road, Pennfields, and at St Michael and All Angels Church in Tettenhall, were erected in memory of those who fought and died in the First World War.

Over the years they have suffered from wear and tear - with the Tettenhall memorial also sadly subjected to vandalism - and members of the Bradmore War Memorial Fund and the Tettenhall War Memorial Committee are now planning their restoration.

The Pennfields, Bradmore and Merry Hill war memorial, situated within ornamental gardens opposite St Philips Church, features a granite soldier holding a rifle mounted on a plinth.

Movement within the plinth over the years has resulted in damage to the stone work, while a bayonet and the barrel of the rifle are missing. The proposed remedial work will see the plinth stabilised, missing parts of the rifle replaced, stonework repaired and the names of the fallen repainted.

The Tettenhall war memorial, erected in 1920, is a red sandstone cross and shaft mounted on a plinth, with the names of the fallen from both the First and Second World Wars recorded on panels around it. The sandstone has eroded over the years, as well as being attacked by vandals, resulting in damage to both the cross and shaft.

The repair work will see these replaced and the stonework within the plinth repaired. At the same time, the Tettenhall War Memorial Committee also plans to clean the memorial and replace the stone paving around it, as well as adding the names of any local residents who fought and died in conflicts from 1945 onwards.

The City of Wolverhampton Council is working with both groups to secure funding which will enable the restoration work to take place, and will make applications on their behalf to the War Memorial Trust for a grant for up to 75% of the cost of the work. The 2 groups have been carrying out fundraising activities to secure a 25% contribution towards the repairs.

As the War Memorials Trust will only pay grants on the satisfactory completion of the restoration work, members of the council's Cabinet (Resources) Panel agreed yesterday (Tuesday 19 June) that the council should act as the accountable body on behalf of the two groups, establishing £20,000 capital grants to fund each repair in advance and receiving the grants when it has been finished.

Councillor Linda Leach, Chair of Wolverhampton's Remembrance Committee, said: "We are delighted to be working closely with the people of Tettenhall, Pennfields, Bradmore and Merry Hill and helping them to restore these important memorials to their former glory."

Graiseley Councillor Jacqui Sweetman said: "The fundraisers have done a tremendous job and I am delighted the Pennfields, Bradmore and Merry Hill memorial is to be repaired.

"Looking at the names on the plaque you realise commemorative stones are not about the glorification of war. They are an acknowledgment of the sacrifices made by ordinary working people for their country rather than the rich and powerful. There are probably many families in the area who will see the names of their own soldier."

Audrey Boliver, chair of Tettenhall War Memorial Committee, said: "It is wonderful that the memorial will be restored; it is the focal point of Tettenhall's remembrance activities and there is a very special commemoration planned on 11 November this year to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

"We have had a superb response from the local community to our appeal, with donations from the general public, local firms, and families whose ancestors are represented on the memorial, and we also held a very successful fundraiser at Light House."

The projects at Pennfields and Tettenhall are part of an ongoing programme of restoration and repair of Wolverhampton's war memorials. Over the last few years, the memorials in Heath Town and Wednesfield, as well as the Harris memorial in St Peter's Gardens, Wolverhampton, have been restored to their former glory, while the Bilston war memorial is due to be restored this year and the cenotaph at St Peter's Square will be cleaned.

  • Wolverhampton is a signatory of the Armed Forces Community Covenant, a pledge of mutual support between the city and its Armed Forces community. For details, please visit Help for the Armed Forces community.
  • released: Wednesday 20 June, 2018