A WAR memorial honouring the sacrifice and memory of dozens of servicemen from a community is set to be officially unveiled.

Pelton Parish Council launched a campaign in June last year to raise the funds required to create the memorial, which will sit in Pelton Cemetery, from a 12.5 tonne piece of sandstone taken from the Witton Fell quarry at Leyburn in North Yorkshire.

Darlington-based master stonemason David France was commissioned to create the memorial, which features a cross, a steel soldier’s helmet and a steel poppy on the front.

An official dedication and unveiling ceremony will be led by Reverend John Lintern, vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Pelton, from 2pm on Sunday October 20, and will be attended by guests including North Durham MP Kevan Jones and Katie Corrigan, chairman of Durham County Council.

There will be representatives from organisations including the Armed Forces, The Durham Light Infantry Association, and the Durham Diocese of the Church of England, along with church representation from several other denominations.

There are 28 War Graves Commission burials from the two world wars sited in Pelton Cemetery. All will be commemorated in the Book of Remembrance to be held in the Pelton Community Centre.

Councillor Gerry Walker, chairman of Pelton Parish Council, says: “Until now, Pelton has not had its own war memorial, and the recent commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One and the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings revealed a desire among local residents to recognise the sacrifice of local service personnel. Local veterans from the Durham Light Infantry Association have been very actively involved with the project and with planning the Dedication Ceremony.”

A range of local fundraising activities and donations for the scheme saw residents quickly raising around £3,000, while further financial support was also secured from a range of other sources, including £6,000 from Section 106 Funding, £2,000 from the Neighbourhood Budgets of local County Councillors, £7,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £5,000 from regional employer The Banks Group’s Banks Community Fund, with shortfalls being made up by Pelton Parish Council.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, adds: “We’re proud to be supporting such an important community project in our home county and to be helping to honour the memories of dozens of local people who gave their lives in the service of their country.”

The ceremony will be open for anyone to attend, but due to space limitations, people need a free ticket beforehand by calling 0191-370-1969, by emailing: clerk@peltonparishcouncil.gov.uk