Beds, Herts & Bucks

Names restored to a war memorial in Buckinghamshire

The names of two soldiers missing from a war memorial in Buckinghamshire for 106 years are to be restored.

The memorial at Coombe Hill built in 1904 honours men from the county who died in the South African Boer War from 1899 to 1902.

The county council has set out to restore the weather-worn memorial and set out to check all the names.

It was then discovered that two soldiers had been omitted from the original memorial plaque.

Military historian Johanna Sienkiewicz, of Princes Risborough, and retired Lt Col Ingram Murray, of Stewkley, scoured regimental, parish and census records to cross-check the two missing names.

When the new one-piece bronze plaque, weighing a quarter of a tonne (250kg), is cast in September Sgt F Priest, of the Grenadier Guards, and Pte A Huckins, of the Oxfordshire Light Infantry, will be added, bringing the total number of names to 159.

Revealed in research

Restoration project leader Mark Bailey said the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies had been a valuable help in checking facts.

The centre's archives contained a local newspaper that had published a complete list of the names, ranks and regiments cast on the original bronze plaque.

"Despite having that news coverage, we still came across errors," Mark said.

"In the 21st Century we're much better equipped with access to data than we were 100 years ago.

"It's only because of the detailed research that we're confident we've made some important corrections to spellings, and also established two men have been missing for all this time."

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