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Village memorial restored to glory

RENOVATIONSare complete for Broughton Gifford’s 95-year-old war memorial, and a rededication service will take place this Saturday 18th July.

With the help of local stonemason Phil Bines, the cenotaph was renovated this month for the first time since it was erected in 1920. The memorial, at the junction of Melksham Lane and The Street, is engraved with the names of 23 soldiers from the village who were killed in the First World War.

A rededication service will be held at 3pm on Saturday, with the village primary school and Scout group. All members of the local community are invited, as well as any surviving relatives of those named on the memorial.

Local volunteer Mary Jarvis said, “Although the memorial has remained in a reasonable condition for the last 95 years, it is now showing signs of aging.

“A short while ago, Broughton Gifford Parish Council decided that it should be cleaned and renovated;  grants were awarded to cover half the cost of this work, and the remaining cost will be covered by parish council funds.

“We have all heard about the enormous cost in loss of lives from the Great War, but the terrible impact on rural communities comes home very forcibly, when you realise that no less than 150 young men – that’s about one from every household – left home from Broughton Gifford to fight in the trenches, and 23 of those brave soldiers never returned.

“After the war, the villagers raised the needed £300 for the memorial which was unveiled in May 1920.”

Schoolchildren from the village will display their commemorative project at the rededication.

Mary continued, “There is some excellent artwork by pupils, together with research notes on the 23 men who died in the war.

“The work will be put on display in the village, on 18th July. Please feel free to share any memorabilia with the Broughton Gifford community as the village remembers the Great War.

“Afterwards there will be a community tea run from the Scout hut on the Common.”

Grants were awarded for the renovation by the War Memorial Trust, the World War 1 Trust, and Melksham Area Board.