Hundreds of people gathered to witness the emotional unveiling of a restored memorial to a young Carlton-in-Lindrick soldier which was vandalised and stood “headless” in St John’s churchyard for years.
Nearly £5,000 was raised to restore the headless statue of Private George Wallace Jackson, who died in combat during World War One in 1918, aged 22.
The ceremony was held on March 17, 100 years to the day that Private Jackson died, and was co-ordinated by resident Maurice Stokes who rallied the community to raise funds for the statue’s restoration.
Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire Sir John Peace stood at the salute opposite Company Sgt. Major Keeton and his party along with “Private Derby”, the Mercian Regiment’s ram mascot.
A row of flags from Worksop’s military associations along with representatives such as Worksop Explorers, Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and Boys’ Brigade, were dipped while The Last Post was sounded.
Also in attendance were representatives from the Royal British Legion, Bassetlaw MP John Mann, Bassetlaw District Council chairman Madelaine Richardson, Nottinghamshire County Council councillor Alan Rhodes of Worksop North ward and Val Bowles, chair of Carlton-in-Lindrick Parish Council.
A service at St John’s Church proceeded the ceremony in which attendees enjoyed a moving performance from Ramsden Primary School choir.
Pupils at the school have been heavily involved in the restoration project, helping to raise funds and learning about the statue’s history.
Catherine Garrett, the school’s business manager, said: “We received an absolute torrent of praise from the congregation at the church for the choir’s beautiful singing.
“We are so very proud of them all and to hear John Mann MP state that the Ramsden choir sang to an exceptional standard was the icing on the cake.”
The new memorial, sculpted by Phil Neal, is now recognised and listed as a Grade II site by English Heritage.
George Jackson had been a young man working for the Worksop Co-op when he set off for war.
He had fallen at the battle known as the Kaiser’s Battle where the Foresters held a frontline position, and 109 of George’s battalion were killed when German troops attacked.
His mother, Charlotte, had received the sum of £24. 3s. 5d. remaining from his pay and including £12. 0. 0 on his death, all of which was spent on the memorial.