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Goodmayes church wins £10k to restore war memorial and uncover lost stories of fallen soldiers

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:59 13 December 2018

St Paul's Church in Goodmayes has been awards £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

St Paul's Church in Goodmayes has been awards £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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The lost stories of 54 Goodmayes parishioners who gave their lives in the First World War are set to be uncovered with the help of a £10,000 grant.

St Paul’s Goodmayes, in Barley Lane, has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant for a project called “the men and women of this parish who served in the great wars”.

It will see the restoration of the church’s outdoors war memorial as well as setting up a community history project bringing together older residents, pupils from Barley Lane Primary School, scouts from the 4th Goodmayes Scout Groups, Barleymont afterschool club and the Royal British Legion.

“We are really pleased to have been awarded this grant,” the parish’s Rev Janet Buchan told the Recorder.

“Restoring the war memorial, and replacing the rather unattractive fence behind it, will greatly enhance its appearance.”

The memorial stands outside the church in a small grass enclave adjoining the churchyard.

Stone steps lead to a plinth and cross with a Celtic knot at its centre.

Inside the church, the names of 54 “men of the parish and friends” who died in the First World War are also inscribed on a brass plaque set in an ornately-carved wooden mount.

“We don’t yet know anything about these men,” Rev Buchan added.

“That is what this project is all about - finding out what we can.”

The detective work will involve collecting and recording the memories of Goodmayes residents who experienced the Second World War or had stories passed onto them from the First World War.

She added that part the findings will be displayed at an exhibition which is likely to open in summer next year.

“It will also provide an opportunity for some of the young people in our parish to have contact with some of the older people,” she added.

“It will help to develop inter-generational understanding and preserve important memories.”

Barley Lane Primary headteacher Michael Henry said that the school is looking forward to being involved in the project.

He said: “Real life experiences and links to local history are so vital for our children; this opportunity to develop their skills as researchers and historians whilst creating something tangible for the community to experience is a very special one.”

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