BIRKBY'S historic Lone Soldier is back.

The war memorial - which was torn down by vandals - has been restored to his former glory, ready to be officially reinstated in a moving ceremony on Sunday.

The bronze Lone Soldier statue in Norman Park at Birkby was pulled from its plinth and had brass plaques ripped off by vandals last November.

But now the statue - put up in 1921 to remember soldiers killed in the First World War - is back in its rightful place. It has been repaired at a cost of £5,000.

The bill was paid by Kirklees Council, with gifts from the Asda supermarket on Bradford Road and public donations - including £200 from 85-year-old Second World War veteran Len Wright, from Somerset.

The Lone Soldier was installed at the park yesterday and will be re-dedicated at Sunday's ceremony. At 3pm, members of the Royal British Legion and standard bearers will march from the bottom of Norman Park up to where the statue is.

There, a guard of honour will be formed while a party of civic dignitaries proceed to the memorial.

The party will include the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, her deputy, Tim Hare, the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, Kirklees Mayor Clr Mary Harkin and ward councillors.

Birkby resident Norah England, 89, will start the ceremony by giving a speech about the original dedication ceremony in 1921.

Mrs England, who has lived in the Cowcliffe and Birkby area all her life, was at the original dedication.

She said: "Originally there was only going to be a small ceremony. But then the Royal British Legion got involved and it grew to this.

"I was asked to be there because I was at the first dedication. I thought `why not'.

"At the original ceremony the flag got trapped at the top of the statue. A man on a ladder released it and flung it right off, so the person unveiling it didn't have much to do!"

The Lone Soldier will be unveiled by Dr Roscoe and Clr Harkin.

The Rev Martin Lowles, Vicar of St John's Church in Birkby, will lead the service of re-dedication.

Hubert Rhodes, president of South and West Yorkshire Royal British Legion, will read an exhortation.

Dr Roscoe, Clr Harkin and Royal British Legion members will lay wreaths. Children from Birkby will lay flowers and light candles.

Linthwaite Band will provide music. Air, Army and Sea Cadets will be there, along with members of the Territorial Army and the Huddersfield Veterans' Association.