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Shortlands War Memorial returns to former glory in time for Remembrance Sunday after car crash destruction

PUBLISHED: 10:42 23 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:52 24 October 2017

Shortlands War Memorial

Shortlands War Memorial

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The war memorial will be re-dedicated next month

Remembrance services will take place at the repaired Shortlands War Memorial, more than a year after it was destroyed in a car crash.

Last year’s Remembrance Sunday service was held around a wooden cross, after a silver Mini Cooper crashed into the stone cross at the junction of Church Road and Kingswood Road.

The 95-year-old memorial’s five-metre-tall Celtic cross was smashed to pieces in the crash on July 8 2016, while the stone plinth it stood on remained intact.

Erected initially as a tribute to local servicemen who died in the First World War, names of the Second World War dead were later added, with the memorial baring 65 names across its stone plinth.

Its shattered remains were held at a council depot after the crash, until they were sent off to be used in the restoration work, which was completed on Friday, six months after the council gave its approval to restore the landmark.

The cost of the repair works has been fronted by Bromley council, which is expected to put in a five-figure claim to the driver’s insurance company.

Standing once again opposite St Mary’s Church Shortlands, the memorial will be rededicated next month.

In a joint statement, Shortlands ward councillors Mary Cooke and David Jefferys said: “We are delighted that remembrance services will take place this year, with the carefully restored and repaired memorial cross back again in its original site.

“The remembrance service, on Sunday November 12 will include a rededication of this much loved memorial.

“It was highly poignant last November when local people, including those from nearby St Mary’s church, gathered to remember, with a wooden cross at the memorial site following the car accident in July.

“It is not surprising that the temporary loss of the war memorial was noticed by local people but it has had a deep effect locally and has been much missed.

“This whole experience has underlined the importance to us all of properly remembering the sacrifices made for us and the part that memorials like ours play, especially in this forthcoming year as the century of the end of the First World War.”

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