Boer War Memorial in Bury St Edmunds revealed to the public after £25,000 restoration project
A £25,000 repair and cleaning project on a war memorial paying tribute to 193 Suffolk men who lost their lives during the Boer War has been finished.
Work on the South African War Memorial in Cornhill in Bury St Edmunds, which started last month, involved steam cleaning and sealing its bronze statue, treating the entire surface with several coats of microcrystalline wax, filling any fissures and remove some of its green staining.
A collaboration between Bury St Edmunds Town Council, an anonymous town resident who contributed to the repairs and The Bury St Edmunds Town Trust made the work on the memorial possible with the finished look revealed on November 3.
Greg Luton, clerk of Bury St Edmunds Town Council which agreed £12,500 of funding towards the project, said the result of the work was stunning, and all the previously hidden details are now there for everyone to see.
He added: “‘The results of this collaboration has exceeded everyone’s expectations. The repairs have both preserved the statue and restored it to its proper place as a memorial to the fallen of Suffolk.
“The Town Council’s contribution was with funding to help others carry out the work, and the final result was worth the wait’
The Royal British Legion Bury St Edmunds Branch is set to hold a Remembrance and wreath laying service at the memorial at 11am tomorrow as well as a second service at the town cemetery at around 11.30am.
Nigel Wolstenholme, chairman of the branch, said he felt the memorial accurately reflects people’s thoughts and understanding of conflict and sacrifice at the time of it's construction and that it is in stark contrast to the more somber memorials for the two world wars.
On the completed work, he added: “It is important to remember our history, views may change, but history does not, we learn from history, all statues and memorials represent an opportunity for reflection, thought and debate and should be maintained and preserved.
“Clearly lots of consultation, knowledgeable people and organisations have been involved, resulting in this Grade II listed memorial being skillfully returned to it's original condition, the flower beds are looking fresh, and the names of those that never came home are clearly visible for families and historians to see, and perhaps schools and students to research.”
The work on the memorial, made by A G Walker and constucted in 1904 was overseen by BCR Infinity Architects and undertaken by Richard Rogers Conservation.