War memorial broken for decades will finally be fixed

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 January 2017

The memorial on Remembrance Sunday.

The memorial on Remembrance Sunday.

Archant

Weston-super-Mare’s Grove Park war memorial sculpture has had a piece missing for decades – and the town council has now decided to repair it.

The Grove Park war memorial shortly after it was unveiled in the 1920s, still complete with its olive branch. (Weston Museum collection).The Grove Park war memorial shortly after it was unveiled in the 1920s, still complete with its olive branch. (Weston Museum collection).

The park’s memorial is topped with a bronze winged sculpture, which represents Victory.

It is supposed to be holding an olive branch of peace in its outstretched right hand – but it has been missing for approximately 40 years.

Weston town councillor Mark Canniford raised the issue and said: “It is a war memorial and it needs to be restored.”

The memorial has been in the park since 1922, and lists the names of 402 men who died in World War One, and 186 names from World War Two.

Poppies around the Grove Park War memorial.Poppies around the Grove Park War memorial.

It is owned by North Somerset Council, which carried out some repair work a few years ago after the World War Two section fell victim to vandalism.

It is also inscribed with the names of 113 civilians, and a casualty from the Korean War, which ran from 1950-1953, and the Egyptian Suez crisis of 1956.

It also lists a name from conflict in Northern Ireland, and three from other 20th century wars.

Town council clerk Malcolm Nicholson said: “It is a work of art, so it would require someone who can reproduce part of that work.

“There might be grant funding available from the War Memorial Trust, which does give funding towards repairs.”

The memorial was created by two of the country’s leading artists. The angel was made by Alfred Drury, who was a member of the Royal Academy of Arts, and the pedestal is by Walter Cave.

The council agreed to look at how the war memorial could be restored, and research how to fund the repairs.

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