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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

War Memorial legibility


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Our village War Memorial has 17 names from the Great War which are carved in relief. At a simple service this morning the names were read out, but this caused some difficulty, as they were difficult to decipher.

When the War Memorial was dedicated in 1920 a photo appeared in the local newspaper. Although names cannot be read due to the quality of the reproduction, this picture would suggest the names may have been painted in some way so as to make them more legible.

It has been suggested that we should (re)paint the names to make them more legible. Memorials where the names are incised often have the letters painted in (e.g. the names on the Menin Gate Memorial).

Would this be an acceptable course of action?




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If it is done well it can be very effective. I think it may depend a bit on the colour of the stone.

A local war memorial of white stone which was originally inside a building and is now in the open air was cleaned for the centenery. Looking at it a few weeks ago, I realised that the incised names had also been relined (very well) in black.

However if it visibly alters the appearance of the memorial, you can guarantee that people will comment.


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I’d suggest the newly carved names had been polished not painted, perhaps a similar approach could be taken to highlight them once again.



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Presumably the memorial is owned by the church, so permission will be needed before carrying out any work. A monumental mason would probably be able to advise on the best course of action.

It may be worth looking at the War Memorials Trust to see if you are eligible for a grant: http://www.warmemorials.org/

Alternatively, try the Military Grave Restorer. He operates in the south east and recently restored a war memorial at Gillingham: https://militarygraverestorer.org.uk/

Edited by PaulC78
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Thanks for the suggestions.

We did some restoration work on the memorial and its surrounds in 2018, and still have some funds in the kitty. We also have a local monumental mason who did some work for us on that occasion.

Jay Dubaya,

Would it be possible to obtain a copy of the picture you posted. Do you have any information as to when it was taken, or any other details?


Edited by tootrock
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