STEPS have been taken towards saving an historic war memorial which is crumbling to the ground.

Shrub End war memorial was originally constructed in the 1920s to honour 17 men who gave their lives for their country during the First World War.

But after years of neglect, the 8ft stone structure has been fenced off amid safety concerns as it falls apart at the site in Shrub End Road, Colchester.

The marble plaque depicting the names of the 17 men was removed some time ago and is in storage, with the intention of returning it once works are complete.

The campaign for the memorial’s restoration have been led by former Shrub End councillor Kevin Starling who has undertaken extensive research into its history.

Gazette: Crumbling - years of neglect have seen the memorial fall into disrepairCrumbling - years of neglect have seen the memorial fall into disrepair

And fresh hope has now emerged for the Grade II listed memorial after Colchester High Steward Sir Bob Russell convened a meeting in All Saints’ Church located next to the site.

Following a report in the Gazette last month on the situation, Mr Starling contacted Sir Bob to seek his involvement after all his efforts, spread across six years, seemed to be going round in circles.

Sir Bob said: “I thought the best way to take matters forward was to call a meeting of interested parties, which was very successful.

“In addition to Kevin and myself, others who attended were the Bishop of Colchester, the Rt Rev Roger Morris, Archdeacon Rev Ruth Patten, Curate the Rev Christopher Smith, and churchwarden Nigel Pettit.”

Gazette: Fenced off - the memorial has been protected amid safety concernsFenced off - the memorial has been protected amid safety concerns

He added: “Kevin Starling has done a fantastic job, and has had support from Shrub End residents and organisations with donations which total around £1,300 already via Shrub End Residents’ Association.”

The meeting’s attendees compiled a list of follow-up actions, including seeking continuing support from the War Memorials Trust, Colchester Garrison and the Royal British Legion.

Ownership of the Shrub End memorial and the land on which it stands is not clear, but the meeting agreed the importance of responsibility for it was paramount.

It was also suggested a replacement matched the appearance of the original structure.