Storm-damaged war memorial restored after more than eight decades

Harraton War Memorial with the new cross.
Harraton War Memorial with the new cross.
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A MEMORIAL commemorating those lost in battle has been restored to its former glory.

The Harraton War Memorial was crowned with a new Celtic Cross thanks to its Friends group and a funding boost from Sunderland City Council.

Peter Welsh, co-ordinator of Friends of Harraton War Memorial, has been instrumental in gaining the funding to reinstate the commemoration to its former glory.

The retired 64-year-old, from Washington, said seeing the cross take pride of place on top of the memorial was a great experience.

“It’s brilliant. The rain slightly dampened things, but we had a terrific morning.

“There were lots of people who turned out and watched as it went up.

“We had someone comment that the stone looked like it had come from the same quarry as the original, because the work was so good.”

The memorial was erected in 1922 to commemorate the loss of nearly 100 men from the Harraton parish, who died during the First World War.

In 1928 the Celtic Cross blew off the top in a storm.

The parish council paid a stone mason to fix it with a “sharpened pencil” in stone.

The memorial was moved from Worm Hill to a location near the Fatfield bridge recently.

Peter said: “The people of Harraton are all delighted, especially those who have relatives named on the stone.

“From 1928 to 2012 it sat in its repaired state and now it’s back to its original design. There’s a huge sense of pleasure in seeing it reinstated.”

The work was carried out by carver mason Paul Bennett from Classic Masonry in North Shields.

Washington East councillor Neville Padgett helped pull together the funding for the stone cross from the Community Chest.

“I certainly do think it’s money well spent,” he said.

“Everybody seems to think that as well.

“There were lots of people there on the day and it looks a lot better now than it did since the cross has gone up.”

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