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War Memorial

The following is a copy of a report about Prince Charles' visit to Cottingley on 30th September 2002

Charles angered by vandal attack by Carolyne Coyle

Prince Charles is to unveil a new war memorial in Cottingley after being stirred by news that the village's original monument was vandalised. The figure of Jesus Christ on a cross outside St Michael and All Angels was sacrilegiously torn apart and its head used as a football in the attack in May. Prince Charles will rededicate the memorial, which commemorates those who gave their lives in the First World War, on Monday. A special service will also be held at the church in Littlelands. A spokesman from Buckingham Palace said the Prince was keen to offer his support to the church after reading reports of the vandalism. "After reading about it he then looked into it further and kept up-to-date with how the situation progressed," he said. "He was also sent letters from members of the church community, but it was the initial reports which spurred him on." Every pupil at Cottingley Village Primary will play a part in the event as each child made a yellow paper flower for the school's wreath which will be laid by the memorial. The school choir will also sing at the service. An exhibition about the war and villagers who fought in it, which was researched by children at the school, will be displayed in the church foyer for Prince Charles to see. It will be open to the public from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Headteacher Tina Briggs said the attack spurred youngsters on to find out more about the village's involvement in the war. "This is a big event for the children to see the future king in Cottingley," she said. "They're very excited and it means a lot to them, especially after all the hard work they've done researching various aspects of the First World War." Prince Charles will also spend time talking with representatives from the schools, churches and community about the regeneration of Cottingley and plans to rebuild the 1960s church. St Michael's vicar, the Reverend Sue Pinnington, said the whole village was gearing up for the Royal visit. "We've all been extremely busy getting the church and the village ready and it's brought the whole of the community together," she said. Tony Roche, of The Parade Fisheries and a member of Cottingley Community Association, said it was a real boost with everyone looking forward to the visit. "It's all everyone is talking about and I've never seen the village look so clean and tidy," he said. The original war memorial was put up in 1919 at the former church site next to The Sun Inn in Cottingley New Road and moved to Littlelands in 1967

Posted Saturday 28 September 2002