A WAR memorial that was vandalised in the summer has been restored and given a spruce up just in time for remembrance events.

The cenotaph in Penhill suffered damaged stonework and obscene graffiti was gouged into it during the attack in August, leaving the tiny Royal British Legion branch wondering how they were going to find the money to get it repaired.

But, thanks to coverage in the Advertiser, stonemasons Toby Robson and David Wilkins stepped forward and offered to fix it for free.

They were adding the final touches yesterday, just two weeks before the start of the start of this year’s Poppy Appeal.

“It is looking really good,” a delighted Legion branch treasurer Carole O’Sullivan said.

“They have done a fantastic job and it looks even better now than it did before.”

She was full of praise for the craftsmen, who pressured washed the monument, polished out the gouge marks and cemented the stones back into place.

Carole was so pleased with their work she asked them back to do the repointing that had been needed before the attack.

A group of four youngsters were involved in the incident. It is understood one of them confessed after seeing the reaction to the Advertiser’s report and they have been dealt with by the police.

Carole said: “They are all very sorry for what they have done. Hopefully they will learn from their mistakes.”

She added that the incident had highlighted the need for a fundraising drive to ensure there was money available for maintenance and future repairs.

Originally built in the 1960s at the legion club, using money raised by members, the memorial had to be moved to its current site three years ago when the club closed down.

It was threatened with demolition until the War Memorials Trust stepped in and helped the legion move it to Penhill Drive.

It will be the centre of a commemoration at St Peter’s Church on Remembrance Sunday.

The service starts in the church at 9am and move outside for a wreath-laying ceremony and the lowering of flags.

A bugler will also sound the Last Post. Local scouts and residents from all over the area are regulars at the event.

This year’s Poppy Appeal, backed by Dame Barbara Windsor, launches on October 27 and runs until Armistice Day on November 11.

A field of remembrance opens in the walled gardens at Lydiard Park on November 10 when a special service will be held at 10.30am.

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