Vandalised Stroud war memorial restored for free by stonemason

Before and after photos of damaged engravingImage copyright Stroud Town Council
Image caption Steve Cottle said “remembering the fallen is important so I was happy to take on the work”

A vandalised war memorial has been restored free of charge by a stonemason in time for Remembrance Sunday.

The Grade II-listed cenotaph in Park Gardens in Stroud was erected in 1935 and is dedicated to those who died in World War One and Two.

A new dedication “And all subsequent campaigns”, added in 2015, was gouged out of the stonework in June.

Local stonemason Steve Cottle, who did the original engraving, said he “it would be a nice gesture to repair it”.

Stroud Town Council said it had received several offers of assistance and finance to repair the cenotaph before Mr Cottle came forward.

Town clerk Helen Bojaniwska said: “We are grateful that the cenotaph has been fixed in time for Remembrance Sunday, and extend our thanks to Mr Cottle for his professional services.”

Mr Cottle said: “When I noticed the damage done back in June and witnessed the strong feeling of upset in the community, I thought it would be a nice gesture to offer to repair it.

Image copyright Stroud Town Council
Image caption The Grade II-listed memorial in Park Gardens was erected in 1935

“I, like a lot of other people, found the damage caused very upsetting, and felt it was one thing that I could do to help.

“Remembering the fallen is very important and so I was only too happy to take on the work.”

It is thought a chisel or other heavy tool was used to gouge out the engraving on the stone.

Stroud mayor Kevin Cranston said he believed it was “a targeted attack”, and Gloucestershire Police has asked for anyone with information to contact the force.

Land at Park Gardens was donated by councillor Sidney Park as a memorial to those who fell in World War One, which included his only son Herbert.

Herbert was killed in France in October 1917 in a training accident aged 23.

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