A LONG project to restore a war memorial was well worth it as villagers remembered fallen soldiers on Sunday and Armistice Day today.
Shepley Village Association has spent the last eight months working on the neglected war memorial and woodland in preparation for this year’s 100th anniversary of the Great War.
The memorial area has struggled with flooding and general poor conditions.
The flooding to the woods and path were solved via a new stream and wooden footbridge donated by local company CTS Bridges, making access to the woods possible.
There was further drainage work to the path completed by volunteers and a large quantity of woodchip, donated by Paul Buxton of Clifton tree care specialists, was also spread along the former mud-track path to the memorial.
Armitage’s garden centre donated dozens of shrubs and flowers for the memorial garden and rockery along with gifts from members of the village.
Numerous British native trees have been donated by the Woodland Trust which will encourage the return of wildlife.
Restoration work funded by the War Memorials Trust and Kirklees Rural District Committee has enabled the resurfacing of the badly cracked and damaged tarmac with 10 tonnes of chippings, thanks to local Chris Gee and his tractor, and the help of volunteers from the community.
A new bronze plaque has also been made for the monument with the words “Honouring those who stand and suffer in conflict” to represent all those who have been affected, not just from the two world wars but all conflicts since then.
Andy Scott, chairman of Shepley Village Association, said: “As part of the ‘In memoriam 2014’ project we have been donated ‘Smartwater’ to protect the memorial.
“This is a liquid invisible to the naked eye, detectable under ultra-violet light for several years, very affective in the prevention of theft, maintaining 100% conviction rate in Court.
“Dr Les Orme, a well-respected Shepley village doctor, has also donated a beautiful hardwood bench to commemorate his retirement.
“It has been situated in an ideal place to rest and view the war memorial in all its glory.
“The completion of this work comes at a time when Shepley’s own author Geoff Peel launches his fantastic and informative book If Somebody Remembers Me!
“This book records all 261 Shepley men who served in the 1914-1918 war.”
Copies of the book are available for £7.50 from Shepley newsagents or from the author.
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