West Malling War Memorial. Photo by Heidi Easby.2018 is a special year in the life of our nation. On Sunday the 11th of November this year, we will mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. Like many churches and local communities, West Malling is making plans to commemorate this special anniversary in appropriate ways.

One of the ways in which St Mary’s Church and West Malling Parish Council would like to mark this anniversary is by carrying out much needed work to repair and restore the West Malling War Memorial.

You can discover more about the history of our War Memorial elsewhere on this website. But nearly 100 years after the War Memorial was erected in 1921, the monument is showing its age. Awarded Listed Building Status (Grade II) in March 2017, the War Memorial is a jointly shared responsibility between St Mary’s (on whose land it resides) and the Parish Council, who hold a ‘public trust’ responsibility for the memorial because it was originally paid for by public subscriptions.

Between 1918 and 1921, the people of West Malling raised the money to see the memorial erected so that the fallen of this town, their family members, friends and neighbours, would always be remembered. We hope that the people of West Malling today will want to help once again, as our predecessors once did, by donating money, time and energy so that, in this centenary year, the memorial can be repaired and restored.

The work we plan to do involves:

  1. carrying out the complete restoration of the stone work including raking out all open joints and re-pointing;
  2. providing a fully sheeted scaffold and security fencing to protect the public while work is ongoing;
  3. once restored, a full cleaning of the stone work is required;
  4. re-enamel the inscriptions on the bronze panels;
  5. Smart Water mark the bronze panels for identification and security. We are also currently considering re-patinating the plaques and applying a surface coating of micro-crystalline wax to preserve the finish;
  6. prepare & re-paint the war memorial fence and repair the stone gate posts.

The cost of this work is approximately £10,000 (around £8,500 + VAT). We are still in the process of finalising one or two quotes before we can confirm the exact amount we need to raise.

West Malling Parish Council have been preparing grant applications but we would also like to give the people of West Malling the chance to express their solidarity and support, and to remember with thanks those who gave their lives for the freedom of this nation.

You can make a donation online via the JustGiving CrowdFunding page for the project. If you wish to donate offline, please make your cheque payable to “West Malling PCC” and post it to The Vicarage, 138 High Street, West Malling, ME19 6NE, making clear that the donation is for the War Memorial repairs.

All funds raised will be used for this project. If we raise more than we need, the money will be held in a separate fund by St Mary’s Church to be used solely for any future repairs and maintenance of the memorial.