Hereford & Worcester

Mystery of Malvern Link's missing memorial bench

The memorial bench to Image copyright Google
Image caption Celia Hatfield used Your Questions to ask: "What happened to the memorial bench which used to be in Church Road, Malvern Link?"

A "missing" bench in memory of a World War One soldier will be returned in time for the centenary of his death.

Celia Hatfield used Your Questions to ask: "What happened to the memorial bench in Church Road, Malvern Link?"

The bench remembered Private Norman Caswell Sayer, whose mother lived in adjoining Lower Howsell Road.

Local handyman Jon Burgess said he took the bench for repair: "The aim is to have it restored and back where it belongs by April 2017."

In July, the Malvern Gazette called for help to repair the bench.

"We've got the basics done and I've got the backing of a number of local people to supply the traditional materials and their skills to complete it," said Mr Burgess.


Who was Private Norman Caswell Sayer?

Born on 22 September 1887 in Shareshill, Staffordshire, according to Remember The Fallen.

A 1901 Cencus shows his family moved to Wells, Somerset.

In 1904, he and his sister Isabella were sent to Canada as part of the Homes for Children scheme.

He became a farmer in Canada before he was enlisted for war with the 10th Canadian Mounted Rifles in 1915.

He was awarded a badge for Good Conduct in January, 1917.

In April 1917, he was killed in action at Vimy Ridge, France.

Image copyright Veterans Affairs Canada
Image caption Private Norman Caswell Sayer's mother lived on Lower Howsell Road, in Malvern Link

Mr Burgess said the repairs were taking "a long time" because they were using materials and techniques in keeping with the antique bench.

"It just seemed rather sad, nobody seemed to know much about why the bench was there," he said.

"His mother lived at Lower Howsell Road and the bench is on the corner of that and Church Street.

"He died fighting for us so I think it's the least we can do to remember him properly."


This story was inspired by Celia Hatfield who asked: "What happened to the memorial bench which used to be in Church Road, Malvern Link?"

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