New home found for ‘lost’ war memorial
8:52am Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
A WAR memorial bearing the names of servicemen killed in combat has been returned to its home in Breightmet after being “lost” for more than 10 years.
The war memorial used to be housed in Breightmet United Reformed Church in Bury Road, Breightmet, but when the church closed in the late 1990s Astley Bridge Royal British Legion took it for safe keeping.
The memorial has now been moved back to Breightmet after it was found a new home in Red Lane United Reformed Church in Newby Road.
The church offered to rehome the war memorial after Joe Walmsley, a member of the congregation, remembered the memorial from Breightmet United Reformed Church, which he used to attend.
He thought the memorial should be brought back into the area after seeing an article in The Bolton News about three years ago about a group that was appealing for information about where it was originally homed.
Mr Walmsley said: “My wife had been to the United Reformed Church in Bury Road so I rang them up to give them the story.
“It’s Breightmet people on the memorial and there should be relatives of the people still around. It is nice that it’s back in Breightmet.”
The memorial has the names of seven members of the former church killed in the First World War and one in the Second World War.
Barry Bradshaw, the secretary of Red Lane United Reformed Church, said he hoped people will come to see the memorial.
Mr Bradshaw said: “The memorial was going to the scrap yard but we said we would have it. It had been vandalised in the past, but we are going to get the names painted on it and get a bronze cross put on the top.
“There was quite a lot of interest from people in the neighbourhood when they heard it was going to be moved to Red Lane United Reformed Church.
“We got the impression quite a lot of people will come and visit it.”
Restoration work will be paid for by a grant from the War Memorial Trust and the church.
A rededication service will be held for the memorial at the church at 12pm on Sunday, April 21. Representatives of the War Memorials Trust and The Royal British Legion will attend.