Express & Star

Villagers in pledge to restore Woodsetton war memorial

It stands as a monument to those who gave their lives for their country during the First World War almost 100 years ago.


But the war memorial in Swan Village, Woodsetton, has fallen into decline as it stands outside a church which is no longer used.

And the monument is so close to a road no services can be held there to honour those who fought in the conflict.

But ex-servicemen, community groups and schoolchildren have now joined forces to get the memorial moved to a new location in time for Remembrance Day this year.

It is the 100th anniversary since the First World War began this summer and residents say restoring the memorial to its former glory would be a fitting way to mark the occasion.

Members of the Royal British Legion, Woodsetton Charitable Trust and High Arcal School are now working to get the funding needed for the project.

An application for around £15,000 is to be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which is running a programme for this type of project.

It is hoped another £5,000 will be raised from other sources, such as from the area's Community Forum.

The memorial stands outside the Mount Tabor Church, on Sedgley Road, which has not been in use for a number of years.

At the moment there are wreaths laid around the memorial but they've been blown over by the recent wind and rain. There is also litter strewn around the front of the church.

There is also broken glass and bottles as well as empty lager cans around the site.

There are 30 names on the memorial which was built by public subscription. A notice on the memorial reads: "This memorial is in memory of those killed and in honour of the men who went from Woodsetton to fight in the Great War 1914-1918."

The names include six men from Woodsetton, three from Parkes Hall and 21 from Swan Village. Under the plan the cenotaph would be moved a short distance along the road to a larger piece of land where it could be better maintained. And there would also be room for services to be held there on Remembrance Day.

Upper Gornal and Woodsetton councillor Keiran Casey, who is involved in the project, said: "The present situation is a shame. The memorial contains the names of people from Swan Village, Woodsetton and Parkes Hall who went and fought in the Great War.

"We want to get this done and the memorial relocated before Remembrance Day this year so we can have the first service at the same time as the centenary is remembered."

Councillor Casey said they were also working with High Arcal School to run a project researching all the names on the memorial. "We want to ensure our ward has a place to remember those who have given their lives for our freedom." he said.

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