Restoration of memorial to remember WW1 soldiers
Owston Ferry war memorial has been restored following a two-day renovation to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
The war memorial was erected in 1922 to commemorate the 22 men of Owston Ferry who were killed or went missing in the First World War and was unveiled by Charles Pelham, the 4th Earl of Yarborough.
Local monumental mason, Samuel Jacob, carried out the work, which involved specialist cleaning and repair, as well as changes to the original inscriptions.
Samuel said: “It was an honour to restore the memorial to its former glory, particularly with its prominence in the village and the significance it has. It is important for the local community to remember those who lost their lives and the craftsmanship of the original work is a great testament to the original stonemasons. Now, the names are clearly legible again for all to see.”
151 men from the parish served in the Great War, and the dates on the memorial acknowledge the June 1919 peace treaty, signed by the Allies and Germany, rather than the 1918 armistice. A roll of honour inside the parish church includes all who served, whether unharmed, prisoner of war, or wounded, as well as those killed.
After the Second World War, the names of the five men who died in that war were also added to the memorial.
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A joint memorial service is set to be held with the Church, Chapel and the British Legion in honour of the centenary.
Representing Owston Ferry Parish Council and Owston Ferry History Society, Ian Walker has led the initiative, believing the upkeep and maintenance of the memorial will provide an important reminder for future generations.
Ian said: “The monument acts as a reminder that local people gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We wanted to retain Sam’s services as he is well known locally as a reputable and reliable tradesman in a skill that is all too rare. It can seem some way off for people today, but the actions these people made were very real, and their stories should not be forgotten.”
Ian has also written a book, entitled War Memorial Tales, which documents the stories of the 22 men commemorated on the memorial. Available from Owston Ferry Smithy Museum & Heritage Centre,