War memorials across Devon restored in tribute to the county’s fallen heroes

Posted on: 8 November 2018

War memorials across Devon have been restored to their former glory ahead of this year’s special Remembrance Day.

Communities have been working hard carrying out the renovations and maintenance to ensure the county pays a fitting tribute to mark 100 years since the end of World War One.

The work has been funded by Devon County Council as part of their Devon Remembers project, which saw £150,000 made available from the sale of Exeter Airport.

The scheme has helped to renew 77 memorials dedicated to the county’s fallen war heroes, from traditional granite crosses and stone pillars to wooden plaques and clock towers.

Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said:

“These war memorials, and the rituals of remembrance surrounding them, serve to remind us that thousands of people from Devon once rallied to a cause they believed to be greater than themselves and made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives for our freedom.

“In many communities they are a prominent visual connection to our shared past, creating a link between the fallen and today. It is vital that we remember and honour them, particularly during this centenary year.

“I am pleased that, by making these funds available to our communities, many of Devon’s World War One memorials are back looking their best and show that we will never forget those who gave so much for us.”

In Exeter, a new plaque to commemorate fallen postal staff in the city was unveiled at the Royal Mail Delivery Office. The original plaque was destroyed along with the Post Office building during the blitz of Exeter in World War II but fortunately a description of it and a record of the names was saved. The Communication Workers Union, who represent postal staff locally and nationally, commissioned local sculptor John Patterson to create the new plaque using a grant from the Devon Remembers Memorial Restoration Fund.

Residents in Frithelstock, North Devon, used their grant to make their memorial on the village green more accessible. The funding has enabled steps and a handrail to be installed so that more elderly members of the community can continue to visit the memorial, which commemorates seven local men lost during the First World War, and to pay their respects safely.

Parishioners in Germansweek, West Devon, honour their brave with a memorial near the village church in an area known locally as the memorial garden. The stone pillar with pointed cap and inset commemorative inscriptions was unveiled in 1920, and while the memorial itself has remained in good condition, the surrounding metal railings have rusted and eroded.

Thanks to a grant from the Devon Remembers Memorial Restoration Fund this small community, many of whom have the same family name as those inscribed on the memorial, have repaired the railings and plan to continue honouring the memory of those who gave their lives at this treasured remembrance site.

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Posted in: Community