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Bearsted memorial fenced off after crack appears in cross

By Alan Smith

Bearsted’s War Memorial has been surrounded with protective fencing after a crack appeared in the stone cross at its summit.

The memorial was erected in 1920, in memory of the 23 villagers who died in the First World War. Later the names of the 18 fallen from the Second World War were added.

Among them are two brothers, Reginald and Thomas Allcorn, both privates in the Royal West Kents: Thomas was killed at the Somme in 1916, aged just 17, while Reginald died in March 1918 at Arras, eight months before the end of the war.

The war memorial at Holy Cross Church, Church Lane, Bearsted
The war memorial at Holy Cross Church, Church Lane, Bearsted

The inscription on the Grade ll-listed memorial reads: “In thankful remembrance of the cross of Christ and of the men of Bearsted who laid down their lives for the brethren.”

The memorial takes the form of a wheeled cross on an octagonal shaft, above three octagonal steps.

It was built in Clipsham stone by Corben and Son at a cost of £217, raised by public subscription.

It was restored in 1995 and again in 2014, but a recent inspection revealed a crack in the stone and the worry is part of the cross could fall off on those below.

It is unclear exactly who is the legal owner of the memorial, which stands in the churchyard at Holy Cross Church, so Bearsted Parish Council has assumed responsibility.

The cross will be removed, repaired and restored.

There is no estimate yet on how much the work will cost.

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