Community cleans up war memorial

KEEPING IT CLEAN: Members of the EL Caledonian Society Pipe Band helped clean up the Oxford St war memorial over the weekend
Picture: MATTHEW FIELD

Members of the East London Caledonian Society Pipe Band got together to help clean the war memorial on Oxford Street last weekend.

As previously reported by the GO! & Express, the World War 1 Cenotaph and the World War 2 Lychgate had fallen victim to extensive vandalism.

A visit in September revealed litter strewn around the area, and bins were overflowing. The statue on the Cenotaph was missing its bayonet, and someone had painted a face in the wreath on the front, and the granite lab below had a large chunk gouged out.

 

SAVING FACE: It took hard work but band members were finally able to scrub the spray-painted face off the front of the WW1 Cenotaph
Picture: MATTHEW FIELD

Over at the Lychgate, one of the granite slabs bearing the names of fallen soldiers had also been removed, and the GO! managed to find pieces of it lying in the grass nearby.

When the GO! Visited again last weekend, members of the Pipe Band were busy scrubbing the spray-painted face on the Cenotaph and sweeping the litter around the memorial.

“When this place was unveiled in 1923, band members at the time led a parade from city hall to the memorial,” band member Dave Rankin said.

“As a band, we’ve got a history that dates back to when this thing was built and we can’t leave it in this kind of mess.”

Rankin said they were also working with the SA Legion to try and maintain the memorials.
“Between us, we’ve got a shared interest in making sure this place is looked after,” said Rankin.

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