Let’s help the appeal to save our war memorial

Denis Kenyon, Mark Robinson (chairman), Brian Tanner (civic society) and Rosalind Willatts inside the Cottage Hospital War Memorial. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Denis Kenyon, Mark Robinson (chairman), Brian Tanner (civic society) and Rosalind Willatts inside the Cottage Hospital War Memorial. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

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The group looking to move and preserve Market Harborough’s unique ‘Portico’ War Memorial has appealed to the town’s public to support their campaign.

The group now has a Facebook page - protectharboroughwarmemorial - where people can get in touch, and see the latest updates on the project.

The team is keen to hear from local people who have family members named on the Memorial’s marble plaques.

And in a letter to the Mail this week (see letters on page 20) group member Mark Robinson emphasised: “The listed portico ... deserves a permanent home where it can be properly appreciated and valued as a community asset.”

The First World War Memorial was incorporated into the front portico of the Cottage Hospital on Coventry Road after the war ended.

It was built by public subscription and, unusually, names all 1,655 Harborians who fought in the First World War.

The site looks likely to be sold by the NHS when the new St Luke’s hospital opens on Leicester Road this year.

The War Memorial group hopes to re-site the Memorial before the hospital becomes derelict, or the developers move in.

It hopes to rebuild it as a free standing structure within the town’s Memorial Garden, off The Square.

One possible stumbling block is the cost of moving the structure.

Mark Robinsonsaid: “There are issues to resolve ... including financing the cost.”

The NHS has not said whether it can pay.

A spokesman for NHS property services said: “We recognise the importance of the listed War Memorial to local people and have held preliminary discussions with the planning authority and the war memorial group to talk about the options.”