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Memorial to war hero in village near Lichfield moves a step closer

An artist's impression of the war memorial in Wigginton

An artist's impression of the war memorial in Wigginton

Villagers living near Lichfield are celebrating after receiving a major boost to their plans for commemorating an historic local war hero.

The plans were hatched in recognition of Samuel Parkes who was born in Wigginton in 1815 who won the Victoria Cross for his gallantry during the Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854 .

At village meetings it was also decided that any memorial should also remember those from the area who have also lost their lives in conflict.

But a payphone kiosk stood on the site where villagers had hoped to erect a stone obelisk. However, British Telecom have now agreed to relocate the booth to make room for the memorial.

BT’s agreement means that the project can take a huge step forward after fundraising efforts by locals have so far raised more than £4,000.

Bob Bird, who came up with the idea eight months ago, said:

“We were struggling because whilst the £12,000 cost of the stone monument is within our sights, the rarely used phone box on our small village green needs moving to accommodate it. Initially BT suggested that in the event it was moved a charge of £5,000 would need paying for the work. That’s changed out of the blue with them agreeing to remove the kiosk and do it for free. It’s wonderful news”.

County Councillor Matthew Ellis with Wigginton residents

County Councillor Matthew Ellis with Wigginton residents

Lichfield Rural East’s county councillor, Matthew Ellis, who arranged for BT to carry out the work at no cost says the way local people have organised themselves to make the memorial project happen is impressive and good for the village. He added:

“This is all about a community getting together to make something which is important to them happen. It’s caught the imagination of local people and is seen as a focal point that the village as a whole can be proud of. I’m very grateful indeed to British Telecom for seeing the importance of this tribute to fallen heroes and recognising the efforts of the local community.”

Locals now  plan is to raise the remainder of the money during the next year and the Wigginton Memorial Committee are hopeful that people from the wider community will help with their fundraising efforts.

For information or to make a donation contact Maxine Dorman on 07957 576141 or Bob Bird on 07974 863065.

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