THEY laid down their lives to protect their country and now a memorial to Oswestry’s sons has been restored ahead of the First World War commemorations.
The plaques naming the 303 fallen soldiers at the entrance to Cae Glas Park was due to be revived this week with identical replica Italian marble monoliths that have been painstakingly crafted by the War Memorial Restoration Company in Cardiff.
Skilled craftsmen spent five months on the £23,000 project which was agreed by the town council last year after the 90-year-old plaques had become difficult to read due to staining and weathering.
Simon Morgan from WMRC explained the new plaques have been hand-engraved and flush-leaded using photographs and rubbings of the existing panels.
It will take around two weeks to install them.
He continued: “We are trying to return the memorial to the best condition possible but also keeping it to the original intention.
“If this work had not been done within the next three to five years the letters would not have lasted and it would have possibly been lost forever,” he added.
Unlike many towns Oswestry does not have a war memorial or cenotaph.
But town mayor, Councillor John Gareth Jones said the new plaques, which include the names of soldiers who died in the Second World War, are a fitting tribute.
He said: “The council has tried over many years to clean the memorial but each attempt failed so we made a commitment to restore the memorial acknowledging the commemoration of the First World War.
“The work is considerable but as a council we feel committed to undertake this work recognising the number of Oswestrians who gave their lives for generations in the future,” he added.
The original memorial was unveiled in December 1921 by Brigadier General Campbell using public subscription. The 87 soldiers who died in the Second World War were added in the 1940s.