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Editorial team in race to save war memorial

A weekly newspaper has launched a campaign to raise funds to rebuild a vandalised war memorial in time for Remembrance Day.

London Newsquest title The Surrey Comet launched Honour the Fallen after thieves climbed the oak structure to steal a strip of lead worth less than £5 and left the ruined monument lying on the ground.

The paper stepped in when the St John the Baptist Church feared they would struggle to raise the funds in time to fix it for next month’s service.

Three of the editorial team have also shown their support to the cause by taking part in a sponsored race.

News editor Julia Kennard said: “We launched our Honour the Fallen campaign after thieves vandalised a war memorial in Old Malden in a bid to strip lead from its roof.

“At first the story was written around the theft and the church and community’s disgust, but when it became clear their annual remembrance service was under threat, we decided to use what means we had to try to ensure the vandals did not win and tradition could continue.

“Since our first story launching the campaign, we have run consecutive stories applauding the generosity of readers who have donated everything from £10 to £1,000.

“We have thrown our weight behind this campaign and spent one day raising awareness of the cause by handing out fliers in the streets of Kingston and canvassing businesses to dig into their pockets and help.”

Pictured from left are Martin George, Clare Buchanan and David Lindsell training for the Run Kingston race

The memorial has stood in the church grounds since 1921 and honours the 13 local men who lost their lives in World War One.

The campaign has now raised more than £2,000, two thirds of the money needed to restore the memorial.

Added Julia: “The Surrey Comet reporting team have also shown their dedication by taking part in the Run Kingston race on Sunday, October 8, in support of the campaign.

“With the support of the community behind us, we sincerely hope we will raise the cash in time for John the Baptist Church to restore its war memorial in time for Remembrance Sunday.

“If you would like to donate go to and click on Honour the Fallen.”