Former Axminster mayor calls for war memorial to be refurbished

  Posted: 21.06.20 at 12:32 by Philip Evans

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Moves are afoot to refurbish the war memorial in Axminster which contains the names of 86 local men who lost their lives in two world wars.

Former Axminster mayor, East Devon councillor Paul Hayward has asked the town clerk, Hilary Kirkcaldie, to include the possible refurbishment of the memorial, which stands on The Minster Green, on the agenda for the next town council meeting on Monday, July 13.

Cllr Hayward, who represents the Yarty Ward (Chardstock, All Saints, Membury and Hawkchurch) on East Devon District Council, will be attending the meeting to speak during the public forum on the need to give the memorial a face-lift.

Cllr Hayward, who holds the Environment and Assets portfolio at East Devon, expressed his desire to see the memorial refurbished on social meeting, accompanied by a photo of the obelisk shortly after it was erected in the 1920s.

The memorial is now in poor condition with the names of those who gave their lives in the two world wars difficult to distinguish.

Cllr Hayward, who lives in Axminster, said he passed the memorial every day and was concerned about the deterioration of such an important landmark in the town.

The Axminster War Memorial today in need of refurbishment

He said they had missed the chance to rectify this in 2018, the centenary of the ending of World War One, and as a town councillor at that time he put up his hand for not addressing the issue then.

Cll Hayward told Nub News: “There will be a lot of hoops to jump through. It may take six months, it may take a year. It will have to involve the town, district and county council and the Royal British Legion – unity in a good cause.

"We might not be able to get it done for this year's Remembrance but perhaps in time for 2021.

“I think the 86 men who gave their lives for Axminster deserve better.”

He believed the town council owned the war memorial but it would take a multiple agency approach to carry out the refurbishment.

Cllr Hayward also drew attention on the poor state of the Jubilee Fountain in Trinity Square, another Axminster landmark.

“It could be restored beautifully but it’s turning into no more than a lump of stone,” he added.

Mr Mervyn Symes, also a former mayor and organiser of the annual Remembrance parade and service for the Axminster branch of the Royal British Legion, said they would give their full support to the war memorial being refurbished.

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