Sherfield-on-Loddon war memorial finally restored to former glory

Basingstoke Gazette: The Rev Sammie Armstrong with Alan Ball, chairman of Sherfield-on-Loddon Parish Council The Rev Sammie Armstrong with Alan Ball, chairman of Sherfield-on-Loddon Parish Council

FOUR-and-a-half months after thieves targeted a war memorial in Sherfield-on-Loddon, it has finally been restored to its former glory.

As reported in The Gazette, thieves attempted to rip a large bronze sword from the fixings of the memorial on January 30. They were unsuccessful, but the sword was badly twisted and needed repairing.

Thankfully, a kind-hearted Gazette reader stepped forward to fix it free of charge. David Priest, 43, who works as a precision machinist, was able to repair the sword, leaving it looking “even better than before”.

David said he had been inspired to make the generous offer as he was “disgusted” by the would-be thieves.

He said: “I was just so angry when I read about what happened. It is absolutely disgusting – these people obviously have no regard for the memory of all the people who gave their lives for this country.”

David repaired the memorial within a matter of weeks, but it took some time before the masonry work to fix the sword to the memorial could be carried out.

Parish council chairman Councillor Alan Ball said: “It looked good before, but now it’s been cleaned up, it looks better than ever.

“We’re very grateful to David, and to Adrian Spencer, of Spencer and Peyton Ltd Monumental Masons, for doing the masonry work. It is great to have it back where it belongs and it means a lot to people that it has been repaired.”

A special re-dedication ceremony was held last Sunday, and was led by The Reverend Sammie Armstrong, the locum priest at St Leonard’s Church, in the village.

Scores of villagers attended the ceremony around the war memorial, during which prayers were read, hymns were sung and readings were given.

Cllr Ball said: “It was a lovely re-dedication ceremony and I had several people approaching me afterwards whose relatives had served, and who said how thankful they were that the memorial has been repaired.”

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