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Town War Memorial restored in time for Remembrance Sunday

By Blackmore Vale Magazine  |  Posted: November 16, 2012

  • David Milsted with the memorial before work begins

  • Gillingham's restored war memorial

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MAJOR restoration work of one of Gillingham's landmarks - the town's war memorial - was finished in time for the Remembrance Sunday ceremony.

The project was completed within three years in a community effort spearheaded by former Mayor of Gillingham, David Milsted.

The project has seen the war memorial cleaned, repaired and restored by experts with extra work carried out to enhance the setting with planting and a commemorative stone bearing a plaque.

The completion of the project means the war memorial working party is being wound up though fundraising will continue for maintenance of the memorial.

Councillor Milsted, who was chairman of the working party, started the project after the 2009 Armistice parade when the memorial was noted to be in need of major work.

He said: "It has been a great honour to lead this wonderful community effort.

"I never thought, when I made the original proposal in 2009, that the whole thing could be done in under three years."

He added: "There are thousands of war memorials in need of urgent repair and there is a national campaign to save them.

"Where Gillingham leads, the nation follows!"

Funding for the work came through grants and fundraising activities.

Gillingham Town Council gave a grant of £1,000 and more than £12,000 was raised during Mr Milsted's mayoral year.

The War Memorial Trust gave a grant of £4,500.

A sponsored parachute jump, a charity auction and contributions from many town organisations helped enable the restoration to be completed during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year.

The war memorial was set up in Gillingham in 1920 and made from Ham Hill stone.

It features high quality detailed carving depicting saints and a lantern design.

Dee Adcock

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