Iron railings are replaced around the war memorial in Haddenham after more than 70 years

The Haddenham and Wilburton Branch of the Royal British Legion have had the railings reinstated this

The Haddenham and Wilburton Branch of the Royal British Legion have had the railings reinstated this week around Haddenham’s war memorial. - Credit: Archant

The Haddenham and Wilburton branch of the Royal British Legion have reinstated the railings around Haddenham’s village war memorial.

The first railings were erected in 1921 but were removed in World War II as part of the country’s war effort.

People around Britain took down tonnes of iron railings in a call for materials to be recycled and melted to make munitions.

The original railings in Haddenham were erected in 1921.

A branch spokesman said: “The branch tirelessly raised funds over the last year and, with assistance from Haddenham Charities and personal donations, was able to raise sufficient money to have the railings erected.


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“The RBL received planning permission from East Cambs District Council and the application was supported by Haddenham Parish Council.

“Thank you to everyone who kindly donated to this project.

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“As this is a very special year with the WW1 Centenary, an unveiling ceremony to mark the reinstatement is being arranged. The date will be announced very soon.”

Thousands of tonnes of metal was gathered from railings around the country in a spirit of everybody helping the war effort, but in recent years many have said it was unnecessary and a lot was stock piled or dumped.

An Act in 1939 asked bodies like local councils for “requisition of unnecessary railings” made of iron or steel, posts, chains, bollards, gates and stiles.

They were then sent to iron and steel works and foundries.

Owners of private railings were asked to be prepared to make a free gift of the material or claim compensation.

• Haddenham and Wilburton branch of the RBL is organising a WW1 commemoration event which will take place at the Arkenstall Centre in Haddenham on November 10.

To mark the occasion, there will be exhibitions and displays involving several organisations from the villages including the local history group and collectors of WW1 memorabilia.

The event will be opened by the Corps of the Drums while musical entertainment will be provided by the Wicken Coronation Band, Witchford Voices and soloists performing songs from the period.

Refreshments will be available throughout the day.

Everyone is welcome and visitors joining for the day are encouraged to wear period costume.

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