HUNDREDS turned out to the planting of an English oak in Town Gardens almost 100 years ago.

A century later, the tree planted in July 1919 as a memorial to all those involved in the war effort has been rediscovered and marked with a new plaque.

Chris Watts, chairman of South Swindon Parish Council, which organised for the new plaque to be installed, said: “We thought this would be a fitting way of marking the centenary of the First World War. It’s a piece of history we want people to understand. It strengthens those links with the town.

“It’s because of the people who fought and died for them that people are able to pause in this important setting of Town Gardens and have the freedoms we enjoy today.”

Historian Mark Sutton helped rangers uncover the tree, which is the only English oak of its age in the Old Town park.

“The oak is one of the only memorials in Swindon to all the men who served in the First World War,” he said. “The Cenotaph and the Roll of Honour commemorated the men that died.”

The tree was unveiled by then mayor Alderman C. A. Plaister to mark the formal peace agreement with Germany in 1919.

You can see it near the Quarry Road side entrance to Town Gardens.