COLCHESTER council has agreed to fund the renovation of the Shrub End War memorial, following the death of a volunteer who spent seven years campaigning to save it.

The monument in Shrub End Road, Colchester was built in the 1920s to honour 17 men who died serving their country during the First World War.

In recent years, however, the marble plaque, which names the fallen, has been removed and put in storage, with the whole memorial being fenced off for safety reasons.

Volunteer and former councillor Kevin Starling had spent seven years campaigning for the Grade II listed monument to be restored - getting to the second stage of fundraising in November, 2023.

Gazette: Damaged - the Shrub End War Memorial in 2023Damaged - the Shrub End War Memorial in 2023 (Image: Newsquest)

At the time, Mr Starling revealed he had only been given 18 months to two years to live following a rejected liver transplant from 14 years previous.

Mr Starling said he wished he would be able to see the 8ft war memorial be restored himself, saying: “My terminal diagnosis makes chasing the monument’s completion even more critical in my eyes.”

“People have lost their lives but people have also lost loved ones and it is so important these people are remembered so we see war for what it is – a complete waste of life”.

Following Mr Starling’s death this year, a cross-party supported budget motion raised by councillor Lyn Barton was passed unanimously last week, meaning the restoration of the Shrub End war memorial can now take place.

Gazette: Determined - Kevin Starling fought for the war memorial to be restored for seven years since 2016Determined - Kevin Starling fought for the war memorial to be restored for seven years since 2016 (Image: Newsquest)

Ms Barton said: “I am delighted the full council approved an amendment to financially support the renovation of the Shrub End war memorial site.

“It was particularly poignant as Kevin Starling, the driving force behind this project, has sadly died before its completion.

"He was passionate about this and fundraised for some time but despite contributions from all three ward councillors and the county councillor we were still short.

“This investment from the city council will ensure the project is completed and it will be Kevin’s lasting legacy.”

She added: “I am particularly pleased this had cross party support. As a garrison town, it is particularly fitting that the council honours our armed forces. A great outcome."