Kent

Aldington war memorial unveiled after 66-year campaign

Aldington memorial
Image caption The memorial features the names of 50 people who died in both world wars

A life-long resident of a Kent village has finally seen a new war memorial unveiled following a campaign lasting more than six decades.

David Hughes, 73, has worked tirelessly for a tribute to the 49 men and one woman of Aldington, Bonnington and Hurst who died during both world wars.

His dream was realised on Saturday when a 9ft-high monument shaped as an "A" was revealed in Aldington.

Mr Hughes said it was in honour of "the sacrifice of these young lives".

More than 300 people gathered to pay their respects at a special service.

Some were relatives of the fallen whose names have been inscribed upon the memorial.

Image caption David Hughes said the memorial was in honour of the "young lives sacrificed"

Mr Hughes said his campaign began on 11 November 1950 when, at the age of seven, he was approached by a family from London looking to lay flowers on the village war memorial.

He told them that Aldington did not have one and, instead, led them to a plaque in the local church, where the family told him that their deceased relative was not listed.

"I knew then that Aldington should have its own memorial," he said.

He later went on to discover there were 23 names missing from the church plaques because their families did not attend church services.

The ceremony was held a day after the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme, in which many of Aldington's servicemen were lost.

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