Leader announces review of war memorials and graves
THE Leader of Thurrock Council has announced a full review of the war memorials, monuments and graves in the borough ahead of next year’s centenary marking the end of the First World War.
Cllr Rob Gledhill has asked officers, in consultation with the Royal British Legion and ‘Friends of’ groups, to investigate what can be done to improve the memorials, refresh the name plates and protect the monuments for future generations to pay their respects to those who have fallen.
Cllr Gledhill said: “As we mark next year’s important milestone it is fitting that, where necessary, specialist work to ensure our memorials, monuments and graves and surrounding ground works are co-ordinated and our memorials get the best care and attention.
“These monuments pay tribute to those Thurrock residents who selflessly gave their lives for our freedoms – I believe it is our duty to protect the memory of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“99% of the memorials which were visited by residents over Remembrance Weekend were in good condition. There are some which could do with some work and some we may not even be aware of.
“While we carry out this review, I would ask that community groups or individuals who regularly clean or tend the memorials or graves make contact with the council’s environment team before carrying out any further cleans so we can co-ordinate effort and ensure nothing is missed.
“Some memorials require expert cleaning – such as the local memorial to me in Little Thurrock which has three different types of stone – and some cleansing materials or methods could be harmful and risk causing damage. To reduce the risk the council will be seeking specialist advice prior to undertaking the work.
“Due to the construction, environment and age of monuments there are risks of damage to stone work, the names of the fallen or for the memorial itself to be damaged and I know nobody will want to see that.”
Cllr Gledhill continued: “Once the program is up and running we will be engaging with the Royal British Legion, ‘Friends of’ groups and residents and letting them know what is happening. This will help show our commitment as a community to those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
“This borough is proud to commemorate those lost in past conflicts – and I believe that we should work together to ensure our memorials remain well maintained to show our respects.”
To contact the council regarding memorials and graves, please complete the online form at thurrock.gov.uk/war-memorials