AN APPEAL has been launched to save a war memorial which is “falling to bits” in Hoddlesden.

Public conscription paid for a stone cenotaph and four matching urns to be placed in the centre of the village green in the 1920s, to honour the dead from the First World War.

Over time, names of soldiers from the East Rural area killed in the Second World War were added, as was that of SAS Lance Corporal Philip Jones, 28, of Hoddlesden, who died in a Sea King helicopter crash during the Falklands War.

Heavy rainfall has caused the mortar in the cenotaph steps to become loose and dangerous. The urns have also cracked badly due to constant freeze-thaw processes.

Now members of the East Rural Network, an action group made up of residents, business people and councillors, are looking to raise in the region of £2,500 to save the memorial.

Half of the money could come from the War Graves Commission if the group are able to match the contribution.

East Rural councillor Julie Slater said: “The cenotaph is falling to bits and it’s dangerous.

“It’s important we carry out this fundraising and get the work done because these people fought for their country and we must remember their sacrifices. A lot of the families who lost sons are still in the village.”

An East Rural Network spokeswoman said: “We are also looking into moving the plant beds closer to the cenotaph, repainting the benches and ask the council to resurface the pavement.

“This area of the village is a conservation area and it’s important that we keep it tidy.

“We really hope that local people and charities will be able to help us raise the £1,250 we need for this project.”