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Goddess is back on war memorial after 50-year wait

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IT WAS a poignant moment as Horndean’s war memorial was rededicated to those who lost their lives in the forces.

And the glorious sun came out for the statue of the Greek goddess Nike, restored back on her rightful place atop the memorial for all to see.

The replica was installed earlier this month ahead of the ceremony – 50 years after a car crash damaged the memorial forcing her removal.

Pamela Goddard, 78, of Clanfield, was there remembering her uncle Francis Langdown who died in the Second World War.

She said: ‘It’s wonderful, I’ve been around this area since I was 10 but I don’t remember the memorial as it was – but I think this is wonderful. We always come with my legion branch on Remembrance Sunday.’

‘It’s just a wonderful tribute.’

Pamela’s uncle died at just 15 when SS Box Hill, the navy ship he was sailing on, was blown up by a German mine off the coast of the Humber on New Year’s Eve 1939.

His name is on the memorial and his medals were placed there yesterday.

A moving ceremony saw Shirley Langford, 82, of Clanfield, lay a wreath on the memorial, along with Horndean resident Stan Wittcomb.

Shirley’s father William Yates died in May 1940 on board a ship while serving in the Royal Navy.

She said: ‘I remember the old (statue).

‘It’s very impressive – I very much wanted to be here.’

Shirley was the first person to donate toward the cost of the replica statue of Nike – the Greek goddess of Victory.

The Portland Stone statue cost £36,000 to make and £30,000 came from donations and through public subscriptions.

The final £6,000 was given by Horndean Parish Council.

Dignitaries turned out for the rededication service, with representatives from the Royal Air Force, army, navy and the Royal Marines 
present.

Dame Mary Fagan, the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, gave a moving speech ahead of the 
dedication.

Lynn Evans, chairman of the parish council, told the hundreds who had gathered at Horndean square that the council had long-wished for the statue to be 
replaced.

She said: ‘There’s been many kind comments since she was placed on top of the memorial in July.’

The service was followed by a march past, which included cadets from the area.

 

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