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Tuesday 29th October, 2013

Members of The Friends of Wiganís Boer War Memorial are in the final stages of making their dream a reality, as planning permission has now been granted by Wigan Council to install a new Boer War Memorial Statue in Mesnes Park.

In preparation for the special unveiling ceremony which will be announced shortly; Secretary of The Friends of Wiganís Boer War Memorial, Tony Hilton is looking to make contact with descendants of those who fought in the war, to be special guests at the event.

The original statue was erected back in 1903; when the then Councillor Fyans said of its importance; `a memorial which should be for all time, a monument to the bravery of Wiganís soldiersí.

It was paid for by public subscription, organised by Councillor Fyans but was removed in 1968 after becoming badly damaged by nature, industry and vandalism, leaving only the original stone plinth which is still in place.
The Friends of Wiganís Boer War Memorial was set up many years ago and members including the late Fred Holcroft, who was Chairman for many years, always believed that one day they would raise enough money and gain the permissions to replace the old statue.

The group received a boost when the recent works within Mesnes Park to restore its former glory, preserved the original site.

Secretary, Tony Hilton said; ďThe unveiling promises to be a wonderful event which will mark the culmination of years of work, campaigning and fundraising. We would like to hear from anyone with links to the war or who would like to be involved in the unveiling event.

ďWe would also like to thank all those who have supported us through the years and helped make this dream a reality, including the Heritage Lottery Fund; their grant has enabled us to pay for the fencing, lighting, paving and signage.Ē

Also known as the second South African War (1899 -1902), the Boer War still remains controversial but as Sir Frances Sharp Powell MP, whose statue also sits in Mesnes Park acknowledged; `there was no difference as to the regard and estimation in which they held those who fought for Englandí.

Treasurer of `The Friends of the Boer War Memorialí Captain .J. Aspinall will be co-ordinating the official unveiling which promises the same pomp and ceremony that was given back in 1903 when the statue was first erected.
In addition to recognising Wiganís involvement in the South African conflict and those who fell, the statue will also act as a unique monument to Wiganís military history and offer educational value.

Descendants of those who fought in the Boer War or anyone with links, photographs and/or historic documents which all form part of Wiganís heritage and culture should contact: Tony Hilton on 01942 235681 or email: j.a.hilton@hotmail.co.uk

More details about the new statue that will also be maintained by `The Friendsí and unveiling ceremony will be announced in the press in the coming weeks.

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