Village war memorial fund gathering pace

WHAT COULD BE: A drawing of what the memorial may look like.
WHAT COULD BE: A drawing of what the memorial may look like.

Residents of a village without a designated war memorial have set their sights on raising £25,000 to create one.

The Colne Engaine War Memorial Committee has pinned its hopes on securing the funds and building the structure in time for the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War later this year.

A host of events have already taken place to fund the project, with many more planned, and designs for the memorial have been drawn up.

“We would love to get it finished in time for this year’s centenary anniversary, but we realise it is a tall order,” said committee member Gareth Jones.

“If that does not happen, it should be in place in time for the anniversary to mark the end of the First World War.”

At present, the village only has an oak-inscribed wooden beam in the grounds of St Andrew’s Church and a marble plaque inside, to remember those from the area who lost their lives in the two world wars.

Following Remembrance Sunday two years ago, a number of villagers were struck by the absence of a significant memorial and set about working to make one possible.

“As well as remembering those lost in conflict, we want it to be a permanent fixture for the community to use,” said Mr Jones.

As part of the fundraising, which has included £838 being made from a quiz night at the Five Bells pub, the committee has also launched a buy-a-brick scheme.

This allows residents to buy one brick, which will be used in the memorial, for £5 and have their own message inscribed on it.

Mr Jones said it was an initiative which was proving popular, with 72 bricks bought.

“Quite a few people even bought them as Christmas presents,” he said.

“It is something which is a bit different, which the children loved, and, by putting a message on it, it makes it like a time capsule.”

Once complete, the memorial will be sited in the corner of the Recreation Ground, overlooking a nearby children’s play area.

Poems written by the village’s schoolchildren will be inscribed on the structure.

Mr Jones said planning permission for the memorial was currently being sought from Braintree District Council and it was hoped local tradesman would come forward to help out when the time was right.

“We are moving on at pace and it would be great if people could provide help with skills and labour, while we pay for all the materials,” he said.

So far, around £1,500 has been collected.

To donate to the memorial fund, email