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Will Avenue of Remembrance be ready for Great War centenary?

Vince McMahan points to the entrance of Herne Bay’s Avenue of Remembrance, damaqed by a lorry last month, inset
Vince McMahan points to the entrance of Herne Bay’s Avenue of Remembrance, damaqed by a lorry last month, inset

Fears that the town’s Avenue of Remembrance will not be repaired in time for the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War have sparked outrage. Last month a lorry crashed into the gate and plinth at the entrance of the Memorial Park in King’s Road. The sign overhead marked the Avenue, along with the dates 1914 to 1918, and had to be removed following the accident. But inaction from Canterbury City Council has left former Herne Bay councillor Vince McMahan wondering if the authority has chosen to forget about the town. Mr McMahan said:

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Royal British Legion chairman Michael Britton

“There is a long history of the city council taking things away from Herne Bay, and very rarely do they ever come back. That’s my concern. Unless people make a fuss I don’t think they will replace it. But they should. They have reserve funds in place that they can spend now to get it back to its former glory. The memorial is significant for everyone in the town. I never thought I would live to see the day that someone I knew would have their name there. But after the Falklands war in 1982 it happened. With each generation somebody is affected by war. The council shouldn’t just wait for the insurance settlement. It’s very important with the centenary of the First World War. We remember people’s sacrifice, they gave their yesterday for our today. Those guys gave their lives, so it’s a mark of respect that we put it right.”

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How the gate looked on Remembrance Day last year

His calls were supported by Royal British Legion Club chairman Michael Britton. He said:

“It’s vital that the gateway is put back to a standard which people would be proud of. The council has an obligation to do that. It’s an icon in the town where people go and peacefully walk along to remember the fallen. This year it’s a massive commemoration of the millions who died. They have only got a few weeks to go before the pathway will be used for remembrance.”

City council spokesman Rob Davies said:

“We are aware of the forthcoming First World War commemorations, and council officers are working hard to arrange the repairs in time.”

Herne Bay Gazette, June 5th 2014

 

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