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Popular war memorial restored to its former glory

John Clements cleaned and re-painted the Burma Star memorial stone, which can be found in the Sunken Rose Garden in Clacton seafront gardens. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL

John Clements cleaned and re-painted the Burma Star memorial stone, which can be found in the Sunken Rose Garden in Clacton seafront gardens. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL

Archant

A kind-hearted volunteer has lovingly restored a war memorial along Clacton seafront.

John Clements cleaned and re-painted the Burma Star memorial stone, which can be found in the Sunken Rose Garden in Clacton seafront gardens. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCILJohn Clements cleaned and re-painted the Burma Star memorial stone, which can be found in the Sunken Rose Garden in Clacton seafront gardens. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL

John Clements cleaned and re-painted the Burma Star memorial stone, which can be found in the Sunken Rose Garden in Clacton seafront gardens.

The state of the memorial was mentioned to him by Dave Clarke, a friend from the Comrades Club, in Clacton, who is a former soldier – and John went down to see if it was something he could restore.

Mr Clements was given permission from the Burma Star Association to carry out the work, as there is no active branch of the group in the Clacton area any more.

Tendring District Council, as custodians of the Sunken Rose Garden, also supported the project.

John Clements cleaned and re-painted the Burma Star memorial stone, which can be found in the Sunken Rose Garden in Clacton seafront gardens. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCILJohn Clements cleaned and re-painted the Burma Star memorial stone, which can be found in the Sunken Rose Garden in Clacton seafront gardens. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL

The memorial is dedicated to those who lost their lives during the Second World War while fighting in the Far East, liberating Burma – now Myanmar – from Japanese occupation.

Mr Clements, from Clacton, said he was happy to do the work – and hoped others in the community might follow his lead in sprucing up other memorials in the area.

“It’s 100 years since the end of the First World War and there are lots of commemoration services taking place,” he said.

“In the gardens there are some other memorials, one to the RAF and one to the Royal Navy, which look great – and this one stood out like a sore thumb.

“I wanted the Burma Star Memorial to look just as good, and the work I did is nothing compared to what the lads who fought over there went through.

“I would love to see more people take care of things like this in their community.

“As the older generation die off people are sadly losing interest in these memorials.”

If people are interested in cleaning up parts of their community, they are advised to ensure they have permission from the landowner and the owners of the memorials, before carrying out work.

How is your community marking the centenary of the First World War? Write, giving your full contact details, to newsroom@archant.co.uk

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