East Lothian Council

Restoration work completed for Prestonpans war memorial

Published Thursday 11th January 18

War memorial

Restoration work has been completed on the Prestonpans War memorial

Phase 1 Work is now completed on the restoration of Prestonpans War Memorial thanks to a funding boost from the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund and the Preston Seton Gosford Area Partnership. 

The memorial benefited from a grant of £12,920 from the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund supported by Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government. The Preston Seton Gosford Area Partnership also allocated funding which allowed the work to be carried out to repair and clean the stonework and erect a new set of railings – a copy of the originals that are rumoured to have been smelted during the 2nd World War. The area around the railings has also been paved. The soldier has suffered over the years and his nose has been repaired, the memorial along with the Spanish Civil War Plaque has had a good clean. Work was also undertaken to sharpen the fallen soldiers names and Sergeant James Herkes had his name finally corrected.

James Herkes's family have been delighted to see his name changed and his nephew George Herkes wrote:

I attended the Remembrance Day parade and ceremony yesterday accompanied by my Father, Aunt and one of my cousins. As a family we were deeply moved to see the amendment made to James name and for the mention in the ceremony. Myself and my family would like to thank you and everyone involved in making this happen. The memorial is looking fantastic after the restoration work carried out. A fitting tribute to those who paid for our freedom today with their lives.

Those involved in leading the project were Prestonpans Community Council and the Royal British Legion together with the support of the Preston Seton Gosford Area Partnership.

Preston Seton Gosford Area Partnership Chair, Ferhan Ashiq said

“We are delighted to see the War Memorial back to its former glory and the quality of work from the Stonemason and Blacksmith has been exceptional. We are thrilled to have found the evidence that a bronze bayonet originally existed on top of the soldiers rifle and are looking to have this replaced in the future. This is the first of two phases to be completed to upgrade Prestonpans civic square with the long term aim of breathing new life into our town centre.”

We are also excited to see a new play about the soldiers from Prestonpans who took part in the Spanish Civil War and are commemorated on a plaque at the War Memorial to be performed at the Prestonpans Town Hall on the 7-10th February”, for tickets please contact www.wonderfools.org.”

Frances Moreton, Director, War Memorials Trust said:

"War memorials are a tangible connection to our shared past creating a link between the fallen and today. It is vital we ensure all our war memorials are in the best possible condition for their age and the charity is delighted to support this project. The centenary of World War I is a wonderful opportunity for local communities across the country to protect and conserve their war memorials. If anyone knows of any other war memorials in need of help please contact us."

Contact skerr@eastlothian.gov.uk for information on the project

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