A FUNDRAISING page to ensure future maintenance of the Shirley War memorial has nearly reached £1,000.
A JustGiving donations page has raised £980 to pay for repairs to the First World War memorial at St James Church.
The Shirley War Memorial Restoration Committee estimates it will need £5,000 to continue to maintain the monument into the future. The testimonial pays tribute to those Shirley men who perished during the First World War.
The committee announced initial work using specialist cleaning techniques to remove years of dirt to reveal the original stonework began and re-carve names of those who died with some becoming illegible on Monday (April 9).
The cleaning of the memorial is approved by the War Memorials Trust who have agreed to make a grant of £4,020 towards the overall cost of £6,500.
Community members and organisers explain they want to generate a surplus above this amount to help with maintenance of the memorial in the coming years.
Those leading the initial project are representatives of St James Church, Shirley Royal British Legion and Shirley Lions together with Councillor Brian Holmes.
The Shirley memorial was one of three to have been granted grade II listed status by the government, on the advice of Historic England, to commemorate Armistice Day.
The committee said: “The war memorial standing in the churchyard of St James church, Shirley is in need of renovation to restore it to its near original condition.
“The memorial has been the centre piece of the annual Remembrance Day service since its dedication in 1923 after being funded by public subscription following WW1 and it therefore belongs to the people of Shirley.
“It is an important focal point to remember those who gave their lives in two World Wars, and especially the citizens of Shirley.”
Supportive messages for the cause have been posted on the group.
Wadsworth Solicitors, who donated £750, said: “Restoring this monument will help to properly reflect the community’s continuing appreciation of the immense bravery and sacrifices of our soldiers. A great cause that we are happy to support.”
Resident Catherine Crocker said: “We owe so much to those who fought for our freedom. Let’s make our restored monument a fitting tribute to the lives it commemorates.”
To support the appeal, please visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/shirleywarmemorial