A special service has taken place to commemorate the newly-restored war memorial at West View Park.
The memorial has cost around £50,000 and was rededicated to the 73 soldiers who fell in the Boer Wars.The memorial was originally unveiled on November 7, 1904 and is an elaborate stone structure with bronze tablets.
It has a circular upper stage of polished granite supporting a standing bronze figure of a soldier.
There is an exact replica of the memorial in Hobart, Australia. The Halifax monument has suffered as a result of the English weather, theft and vandalism over the years. The service was held at New Hope Church in Warley, led by Revd Caroline Greenwood.Speakers included Ian Hey, from the Friends of West View Park group and who has spearheaded the restoration campaign, Coin Ashley Evans and Mayor of Calderdale Dot Foster, while the Last Post was played and a period of silence was observed.
My Hey said: “Success! I’m happy, proud and honoured.
”As I tell many people, Rudyard Kipling lost his son in the First World War, and on his and his son’s monument, and many others, it says ‘lest we forget’.
”That sums it up.”
Coun Ashley Evans, who helped set-up the Friends of West View Park group, said: “We’re not here to say war is wonderful, we’re remembering the people who died in the war and gave their lives for the country. “People need to know the war memorial is part of the community, they need to be aware of the history of it.”Each year we have a family fun day in the park, and a lot of events happen around the memorial. We have had some problems with people graffitiing, and one of the reasons for that is because people don’t know what it’s about and how important it is.
”When I first became a councillor I didn’t know the park existed, but the first time I walked into it I thought ‘wow, this is just amazing’ and we need to make the most of it.
”This has taken a long time and there have been a lot of people involved, but it’s wonderful it’s now happened.
”There’s been funding from the local authority, funding from the War Memorial Trust, things like that have come together to make it special again.”