GENEROUS villagers have raised more than £25,000 to replace a memorial statue in just a few months.
For 44 years The Goddess of Victory stood atop the Horndean war memorial as a poignant symbol of the First World War and the price paid for freedom.
But a freak incident in 1964, when a car crashed into the memorial, led to the spectacular statue being deemed unsafe and replaced with a lamp.
Now huge donations have come in, particularly from the business community.
But a final push is needed to meet the £30,500 cost by the end of May.
Sculptor Jose Sarabia has almost finished the statue – in Portland stone – and it should be making its way to Horndean in the next few weeks.
Horndean parish councillor Sara Schillemore, who has led the campaign to have the statue reinstated, said: ‘The model is nearly finished. Her raised arm will be finished by hand later.
‘She is having coats of yacht varnish to keep the moisture in so that she won’t crack in transit.
‘It will be a faithful copy of the original with an inverted sword, as a sign of peace in the left hand.’
The statue will be on display in Merchistoun Hall, Portsmouth Road, in a couple of weeks time.
Some 115 names of servicemen from Horndean who died in service are now recorded on the memorial.
If anyone has information or photos of the men named on the memorial please contact Cllr Schillemore on 07771 684585 .
The rededication is on Sunday, July 20 and the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan, will be attending.
Anyone who would like to add to the donations should contact Horndean Parish Council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call (023) 9259 7766.