War memorials in Ashfield to be restored and preserved

The launch of the Poppy Appeal at Kirkby's war memorial in 2015.
The launch of the Poppy Appeal at Kirkby's war memorial in 2015.

A campaign to ensure the survival of war memorials in towns and villages has been launched by Ashfield District Council.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the council is spreading the message that the memorials are an important part of local communities.

Many of them date back to the 1920s, and Ashfield wants to work closely with local and national organisations to make sure they are preserved for future generations.

Coun Jason Zadrozny, leader of the council, said: “The areas around Ashfield’s war memorials will be cleaned and red flowers planted ready for Remembrance Day next month.

“This is an especially poignant year, so we are doing lots to remember those who gave so much. We are working hard with organisations to maintain our war memorials for the next 100 years.”

Attendances at Remembrance Sunday services on November 11 are expected to be higher than usual this year as people pay their respects to those who fell during the Great War of 1914-1918.

The council is determined to take a long-term approach to the restoration and conservation of the memorials. Its conservation officer is joining forces with the War Memorials Trust and the Royal British Legion to develop a programme of survey and repair works.

Many of the memorials are grade two listed, so it is crucial that maintenance is carried out by specialists to ensure that the stone is protected and irreversible damage is avoided.

Coun Zadrozny added: “People care a lot about the memorials, but it is important that they are professionally cleaned and maintained to ensure they are preserved.”

The campaign has been welcomed by the Legion, whose Kirkby branch chairman, Brian Dykes, said: “I am pleased the council is making such a huge effort. We must never forget those who served their country, did their duty and made the ultimate sacrifice.”