Friday, 14 December 2018
2 January 2012

Lest We Forget Campaign

A Letter to the Daily Telegraph

Dear Sir or Madam,

I read with interest what you have to say each week about the need to get the many war memorials about the countryside back into a good condition. I thought you might just be interested to read what is happening here in Slough which I hope is not typical of local council's attitude around the country.

We have a number of memorials in the town that are in need of repair. Some are in a much worse condition that others. Two memorials, one in St Mary's Church, Slough and the second in St Peter's, Chalvey, are in a bad state of repair and need work doing urgently. There has been a campaign running now, I guess, for some three years through the local newspapers to get our local council to do this work in time for the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the First World War.

In April 2010 it appeared that our local council had listened to what local people were saying. At a meeting of the full council it was agreed that any work required to bring the St Mary's memorial back to its original condition should be done as quickly as possible. The motion put to the council meeting that evening read:-

That the city centre memorial located at the rear of St Mary's Church has been allowed to deteriorate into a state of disrepair and that many veterans would find the Council's failure to adequately honour their fallen comrades an insult.

It was then proposed that the council should urgently commission a survey of the town centre war memorial to evaluate what work needs to be carried out to restore it to its former glory. A second proposal that evening asked that the council then commission any work that needs doing to the town centre war memorial as soon as possible and without delay.

The proposals were carried unanimously; there was not one dissenting voice that evening.

The council did then clean the town centre memorial together with other memorials about the town.

The two memorials mentioned badly need the names re-carving but that has not been done. The council are certainly aware that job needs to be done.

Our council have not done what they promised and are now twisting and turning trying to avoid a task that clearly is their responsibility. The regular cry from our Town Hall is:-

Be proud of Slough.

I ask how one can be proud of a town that treats its fallen heroes in such a way. By their own admission the neglect of the memorial is an insult to those who had fallen. Today they are still insulting those heroes!

The only way to win this battle in the end is to shame those in our Town Hall into action. I am sure that other local authorities around the country are not behaving this way. Slough as a town does not have too good a reputation nationally and the way our council are behaving over the war memorial issue will certainly not help that situation.

Malcolm Hellings