Locals in a village without a war memorial are being urged to buy a brick to raise money to build one.

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Supporters of the scheme in Colne Engaine, near Halstead, hope the initiative will help raise the £25,000 needed to pay for a commemorative sheltered seating area that will honour those who have died in conflicts but also be an asset used by the community.

At present the only object that passes for a memorial in the village is an inscribed wooden beam that was taken from the church many years ago and now sits in the graveyard.

But with the centenary commemorations of the First World War due to commence later this year, a working group has formed to push for something more substantial.

A member of the Colne Engaine war memorial committee, Gareth Jones, said: “We want to build a covered structure with benches by the playing fields that will be used by people 365 days a year, not just on Remembrance Sunday.

“We want it to represent reconciliation as well as being a memorial, and for it to mean something to the young people in the village – not just be about the heritage of the past.”

There are already plans to use a line from a poem written by local schoolchildren as an inscription on the memorial while fund-raising efforts include a quiz night and donations.

One money-spinning idea that has caught people’s imaginations is the buy-a-brick scheme, where donors are being encouraged to pay £5 towards one of the bricks to be used in the building. Those taking part will be able to place a personal message into their brick, which will eventually be built into the memorial.

So far around 70 bricks have been sold.

The group hopes its memorial can be completed by 2018 to coincide with the centenary of the end of the First World War.

More details can be found on their facebook.com/colneengainewarmemoriaproject webpage.

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