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Missing heroes are added to Bata's East Tilbury memorial
A REDEDICATION service is to be held for those whose names adorn a World War Two memorial in East Tilbury.
The Bata War Memorial, which pays homage to those who worked at the Bata Shoe Factory in the village but died fighting in the Second World War recently underwent a £14,000 restoration.
The names of factory employees, missed off the original bronze plaques have been added to the new, black granite plaques fixed to memorial as part of its revamp.
Some of the families of those who worked at the factory, which produced shoes for over 70 years before it closed in 2005, will be at the ceremony on Sunday, April 27, as will Monica Pignall, the grandaughter of Tomas Bata, the Prague-born industrialist who ran the Bata Shoe Company.
Lord Petre, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex will join Tony Fish, the Mayor of Thurrock and Thurrock’s Conservative MPs Jackie Doyle-Price and Stephen Metcalfe will also be at the ceremony to pay tribute to those names traced and added to the memorial.
In addition to the new granite plaques, the restoration saw paving around the memorial replaced and the granite stones which make up the memorial’s structure given a deep clean at the end of 2013.
The original bronze plaques will be moved to St Catherine's church in East Tilbury.
The bulk of the funding for the project came from the Heritage Lottery Fund who granted £10,000, while the council chipped in with £1,000 and the community forum contributing £3,000.
Mike Tarbard, chairman of the Bata Reminiscence & Resource Centre, who coordinated the project, said: “A number of families of those named on the plaques have been traced and some of them will be present for the service.
“This is a community project and the local community are asked to come along and support it as a community event.”
Before its restoration, the war memorial had been blighted by yobs, on seperate occasions stole the urn which sits in the centre of the piece and sprayed the stone with grafitti.
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