Restoration at last for St Albans war memorial

PUBLISHED: 18:32 05 July 2013

Stones with the names of fallen soldiers are replaced on the St Albans war memorial after being taken away for cleaning and re-engraving

Stones with the names of fallen soldiers are replaced on the St Albans war memorial after being taken away for cleaning and re-engraving

Archant

ST ALBANS war memorial in the city’s heart has been restored to its former glory, with stonemasons this week carefully lifting repaired stone panels of the Grade II listed monument into place.

Not only has the memorial on St Peter’s Street been cleaned and re-pointed, but the names of members of the armed forces who died in the Second World War have been re-incised on the stone panels around its base.

The monument was last year branded “disgusting” by a relative of a fallen World War Two soldier after she noticed that the name of her brother was obscured.

Shirley Moulster called upon St Albans district council to restore the memorial, saying it was a “disgrace” that many names had disappeared including that of her brother, Maurice Childerly, who died on the German borders in Holland.

His and other names were difficult to read because of erosion.

A spokeswoman for the council explained that cleaning, repair and maintenance of the memorial has to carried out under conservation advice and with caution as regular cleaning could cause damage.

The names of 640 servicemen who died in the First World War and 163 who died in the Second World War are commemorated on the historic structure which is made from Portland Stone.

The memorial was unveiled by General the Earl of Cavan in 1921 and, according to the St Albans Museums’ website, huge crowds gathered for the opening as the First World War was fresh in everyone’s memory and it was said that every family in the land lost someone close in the battle.

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