St Albans war memorial still not restored

THE state of a St Albans war memorial has been branded “disgusting” by a relative of a fallen World War Two soldier.

Shirley Moulster’s brother’s name is obscured on the St Peter’s Street monument, which the council had promised to restore.

She is now calling for the names of our war dead heroes to be rewritten as Remembrance Day approaches.

Her brother, Maurice Childerly, was only 19 when he died on the German borders in Holland, having been in the army less then six months.

The war memorial is a Grade II listed structure made from Portland Stone and was unveiled on May 21, 1921.

She said: “Most of the names have disappeared, it is a disgrace.

“Remembrance Day is here. It’s just the time to clean it up and renew all the names.”

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Shirley, of London Colney, is not alone in her quest to get it restored.

Last year Ashley Wade campaigned to restore the memorial and set up a Facebook page which garnered much support.

His work to get the stone monument cleaned up led the district council to confirm they were seeking specialist advice on the maintenance of the memorial.

The council has confirmed that a stonework and conservation specialist has since inspected all the war memorials and advised how to restore them, but the St Peter’s Street memorial will still have to wait several months to be cleaned.

Charles Turner, the council’s legal services manager, said: “The council is committed to honouring those who have died for their country and to the long-term preservation of the city’s war memorial heritage.

“In line with this commitment, cabinet agreed late last year that specialist advice on the cleaning and maintenance of the war memorial at the top of St Peter’s Street, St Albans be obtained.”

He added: “A programme of work has been drawn up that involves the restoration of five war memorials.

“The first stage of this programme relates to the restoration of the Grade II war memorial in St Peter’s Street.

“The specialist has given us advice on how to do this, including the cleaning and minor re-pointing work required.

“He has also advised us how to restore the names of members of the armed forces who died in World War II which are located separately at the base of the memorial.

“These have become difficult to read due to erosion.”

As part of the restoration process, the council will also be correcting one of the names which was originally misspelt at the request of his family.

The restoration is likely to take around 12 weeks and will involve each of the stone panels with WWII names being extracted.

The memorial will also need to be fenced off while the work is being undertaken.

Work is due to be carried out next spring for the St Peter’s Street memorial, and additional work has been scheduled over the next three years for memorials at 52 Holywell Hill, the entrance to Ridgmont Plaza car park in Ridgmont Road, 15 High Street and 40 Verulam Road.