A FOUR-year project to replace two war memorial statues, stolen by thieves around two decades ago, will come to a head on Sunday.

Veterans will take part in a rededication parade and service on Sunday as The Lamp of Memory and The Shield of Honour are unveiled again at Todmorden cenotaph following a campaign by the town’s civic society.


Around £15,000 was raised, through grants and a collection box appeal so stone carver Nick Roberson could create replicas, for originals sculpted by Gilbert Bayes for the 1921 Grade Two listed edifice.

He used original photos taken by the late Roger Birch for the reproductions, which were part of the memorial honouring 659 First World War soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice.

English Heritage awarded the initiative a ‘Certificate of Recognition’, in the latter stages, for which supporters also instigated repairs to stone steps, repointing work and the cleaning of a St George statue.

Originally former civic society chairman Paul Clarke, an ex-Royal Artillery soldier, came up with the idea and the fundraising continued under his successor, Darren Midgeley, with a number of public and private donations secured.

Mr Midgeley said: “What began as a relatively small-scale initiative has turned into something the whole town can be proud of.

“And for the society to be presented with this Certificate of Recognition is a testament to all the hard work and efforts of our members.”

Mr Clarke added: “I feel extremely proud of Todmorden Civic Society and the role members have played in replacing the two statues and also the continued role of working with council officers to restore other elements of the war memorial.

The memorial stands in a garden of remembrance in Centre Vale Park.