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UPDATE: Council hopeful Shortlands War Memorial will return in time for Remembrance Day

PUBLISHED: 09:58 27 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:08 27 April 2017

The scene of the crash in Shortlands @Sammy_Selvage

The scene of the crash in Shortlands @Sammy_Selvage

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The memorial was destroyed in a car accident last year

Shortlands War Memorial in its former gloryShortlands War Memorial in its former glory

The restoration of a beloved war memorial destroyed in a car accident could finish this year.

On July 8, a car ploughed into the Grade II listed memorial at the junction with Church Road and Kingswood Road in Shortlands.

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

In its absence, residents crowded around a makeshift wooden memorial for Remembrance Sunday last year.

Following approval to rebuild the memorial on April 13, Shortlands councillor David Jefferys said: “The process has so far taken longer than we would have wished, but now it is important to undertake the restoration works as soon as possible so the memorial can be rededicated and in place for the Remembrance Day service in November and for the final year of Commemoration of all those who died during the First World War.

No date has been set for completion, but the council remains hopeful that the memorial, which contained the names of 65 local men who died in the First World War, will return in time for this year’s remembrance services.

All of the Celtic cross’ fragments are currently held at a council depot, and are expected to be used in the salvage operation which will use the existing plinth.

The cost of repair work is expected to be covered by the driver’s insurance.

Cllr Jefferys added: “We should never forgot those who gave their lives for our freedom and those who continue to serve in our armed forces today and in other ways to protect our safety.

“The wooden cross used last year was most poignant and served as a powerful reminder of personal sacrifice and the power of faith , hope and prayer over terror, anger and destruction which lies at the very heart of remembrance.”

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