Long-lost plaque to return to memorial

Poulton War Memorial in Queens Square with a plaque at the front which went missing in 1977.

Poulton War Memorial in Queens Square with a plaque at the front which went missing in 1977.

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A missing plaque which paid tribute to fallen war heroes will finally be replaced after it went missing 36 years ago.

When Poulton War Memorial was moved from its original Queens Square home to Market Place, a vital part of it was left behind.

The engraved plaque with heraldic figures was fitted to the front of the memorial when the structure was first erected in the town in 1921, but has not been seen since 1977.

The missing plaque went unnoticed for more than three decades before historians discovered the feature had gone - but now plans are firmly in place to put it back on the memorial.

Poulton Historic and Civic Society enlisted the help of Wray Brothers Monumental in Layton, who will make the replica and put it in place for free.

Christine Storey, secretary of the society, said: “We thought someone had vandalised it but when we looked at old photographs we realised it had not been around for a long time.

“It was on all of the old photographs from the 1930s but it’s not there now and nobody knows what happened to it.

“It’s a mystery.”

The group will unveil the new plaque during Gala day on June 1 and comes in time for the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War in 1914.

Shirley Edwards, owner of Wray Brothers Monumental, added: “We had originally done work to move the stone and wanted to help.

“It was a shame but I’m glad we could do something for them and have an input.”

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History of a town’s own landmark

War memorials were first built in towns and cities at the end of the First World War in 1918 as a way for families of the fallen to pay their respects to a loved one.

Poulton’s War Memorial was built in Queens Square in 1921.

Families put small white pebbles were placed at the base to commemorate a dead serviceman.

Market Place was pedestrianised in 1977 and it was decided the memorial would be moved from Queens Square to Market Place.

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