A FLINTSHIRE town War Memorial has been re-dedicated following a programme of improvements.

In April, refurbishments to the Buckley War Memorial, situated in the Hawkesbury Garden of Remembrance, were completed by Blackwell’s Stonecraft Ltd.

The memorial was due to be re-dedicated on VE Day, but the service was postponed due to covid-19.

Instead it took place on VJ Day, August 15 and saw speakers including Royal British Legion chairman Steve Evans, Command Sergeant Major Andy Harrison, 1st Battalion Royal Welsh, Lord Barry Jones, as well as a service led by Rev Canon Martin Batchelor.

Cllr David Ellis, project lead, said: "For many years the memorial has been in a state of disrepair the names were not legible.

"Councillor Carol Ellis had received many complaints regarding its condition and tried many times through both Buckley Town Council and Flintshire County Council to upgrade the memorial but unfortunately there was always difficulty regarding ownership.

"When I became involved with the committee for the upgrade of the British Legion Memorial at Precinct Way there was a Buckley gentleman on the committee, who well and truly gave me as a councillor a piece of his mind about the condition of the Hawkesbury Memorial, and made me promise to pursue funding for the improvements for Buckley’s original war memorial built in 1951, which I did in due course with the assistance of Gwenno Eleri Jones of Flintshire Council.

"Once the funding was obtained, I approached different groups and people in the Town, the Buckley Historical Society and the Buckley Royal British Legion."

Cllr Ellis said representatives were put forward by each group and a working committee formed which consisted of Mrs Carol Shone (archivist) and Paul Davies (secretary) of the Buckley Society, Steve Evans (chairman) and Ray Newman (treasurer) of the Royal Buckley British Legion Branch, Vic Lamb (project manager), Councillors Carol Ellis and himself.

He continued: "We then procured the services of Blackwell’s Memorials (Steve Blackwell) an excellent stonemason with a family tradition dating back over 250 years and a local man who had a great passion for the project and what a really professional job he did - also adding the 36 names to the memorial at no additional cost.

"Newly added on one side is the Armed forces Memorial for people that had died in conflict outside of the two World Wars which have had two names added to.

"We all worked extremely well together and are extremely Proud of the result.

"A great deal of research was carried out by many people from the British Legion and the Buckley Society, special mentions go to Peter Kelsall of the Buckley Society who lives in Denver Colorado who has over the last 10 years or so has been researching all the names on the memorial for both world wars. In doing so he discovered 25 servicemen for World War One and eight for World War Two whose names for some reason had been omitted.

"He has been aided in his work by another society associate, Graham Caldwell, who lives in Australia.

"It is as a result of their researches and extra work by Society members and others - especially Dave Vickers who runs the Buckley at War web site - that the Buckley Society were able to supply the extra names to the Committee.

"All these names as well as the three additional ones which came to light as a result of a publicity campaign featured on the Buckley pages of Flintshire War Memorials web site, thanks again to Peter Kelsall. The web site is organised by Viv and Eifion Williams.

"The Hawkesbury Memorial Restoration Committee would also like to thank the Reverend Canon Martin Bachelor, John Wynne of the Royal Buckley Town Band, Lord Barry Jones and Lady Janet Jones, and Stephen Dallas.

"Also, a special mention for the late Peter Griffiths, chairman of Hawkesbury Bowling Club who recently passed away, who for many years had looked after the flower beds around the memorial."

Cllr Ellis said he also wished to thank Flintshire Council's Streetscene team members for their hard work on the memorial gardens.