THE contributions of Swindon’s First World War servicemen has been recognised at a ceremony at the Civic Offices.

In 2011, former mayor Rex Barnett made a request to have Swindon’s World War One memorial restored and rehomed.

That request was finally realised yesterday when the large plaque honouring the names of more than 900 of Swindon’s fallen was unveiled at the council’s Euclid Street home.

The project to bring the memorial back to its former glory gathered momentum three years ago when Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member responsible for heritage, asked the council’s museums and heritage team to find alternative locations for the borough’s memorial and secure the external funding necessary to complete the restoration.

The war memorial and cenotaph were purchased together by public subscription soon after the Great War in 1918 as a permanent reminder of the sacrifices made by Swindon’s fallen.

Previously housed in the Old Town Hall at Regent Circus, the plaque succumbed to water damage with a number of the inscribed wooden panels becoming warped over time.

After a nationwide search, specialist conservator Hugh Harrison was found to undertake a full condition survey of the memorial.

Last year, he was commissioned to start the long and painstaking process of returning the memorial back to its former glory.

Reflecting on the project’s conclusion, Coun Perkins said: “I’m delighted we finally have this important memorial fully restored and back on public display and can give the men listed and their families the recognition they deserve for the sacrifices made for our town during World War One.

“Finding a new home for the plaque wasn’t easy due to its sheer size and we wanted to maintain the close links the memorial has with the cenotaph - so the Civic Offices was the obvious choice.

“We were determined to complete this project within the centenary of the Great War and for the council to mark this major conflict.”

The memorial, which is made of solid oak with gilded lettering, measures an impressive 10’11” high and 11’5” wide.

An official unveiling was attended by the current mayor of Swindon, Coun Maureen Penny, Council Leader David Renard, Coun Perkins and Sandra Barnett, wife of the late mayor Rex Barnett whose wish it was to see the memorial restored as a fitting tribute to the fallen from our town.