A memorial honouring the contribution of commandos since the second world war has been restored after a community service team stepped in to clean it up.
Fred Davies, chairman of the National Commando Association, made a desperate plea for help to the team supervisor after he found the plaques on the memorial tarnished and dirty – just a week ahead of an annual pilgrimage by veterans and families.
But after two days of work – and several tins of Brasso – the 12 brass plaques on the memorial are now proudly gleaming for Sunday’s event at the National Memorial Arboretum.
Mr Davies told the Mail: “I was appalled by the state of the memorial. All the brass was tarnished and bird droppings had stained the plaques.
“I started to clean it myself, but it was extremely hard – it would have taken forever to clean all 12 plaques and the families would have been very upset if the memorial was in a poor state.
“The probation lads spent two days there and they’re gleaming. We are always ready to condemn these people, but this really deserves recognition.”
Members of the association will gather at the arboretum, in Alrewas, tomorrow morning, where they will honour fallen comrades and others who have given service.
Mr Davies said he believes the plaques are unique, because of the amount of information included about the 1,400 people who have died.
A spokesman for the community payback team told the Mail the team was ‘honoured’ to help clean the memorial.
He added: “Community Payback aims to serve the entire community, engaging in worthwhile and valued projects which are of benefit to both local communities and to our workers subject to court orders. The Commando Veterans memorial is a prime example of this. The work was meaningful, onerous and engaging, helping to maintain and clean the brass plaques, benches and brick work in preparation for this weekend’s parade.”