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Oswaldtwistle memorial plaque found in time for Remembrance Day

A war memorial plaque which was stolen from a church yard last year has been found in the run-up to Remembrance Day.

BACK: Roy Lockwood, of the church and Oswaldtwistle Royal British Legion, with Reverend Roy Parker

A war memorial plaque which was stolen from a church yard last year has been found in the run-up to Remembrance Day.

The bronze plaque featuring names of soldiers from the historic Accrington Pals regiment was ripped from the garden wall in New Lane Baptist Church, Oswaldtwistle, in September 2011.

It was feared the memorial would never be seen again but it was returned to its home last week after it was recovered by police.

The five foot wide plaque, featuring the names of soldiers from the Accrington Pals, had been fixed there for more than ten years.

Police found the missing memorial while carrying out a police operation in Blackburn.

Delighted Roy Lockwood, of the Church and Oswaldtwistle Royal British Legion, said he was amazed it had resurfaced.

Roy said: "The memorial is ok and hasn't been damaged but it needs a clean.

We are going to keep it at the church where it belongs.

"When it was stolen last year I didn't think we would find it again.

"Finding it at any time of the year is good news but it is nice that the memorial is back at the church in time for Remembrance Sunday."

The police officer who found the plaque discovered an article about the missing Oswaldtwistle memorial on the internet and contacted Roy to see if he could identify it.

Roy, who is also a member of the church, said: "The police did some excellent police work which they always do. We are grateful for their efforts."

The plaque is one of two war memorials in Oswaldtwistle. The town's main memorial is on Rhyddings Street.

Oswaldtwistle Councillor Doug Hayes said it was excellent for the town to have the church memorial back.

Coun Hayes, who is leading a Hyndburn council armed forces working group, said he could not understand why the memorial had been stolen in the first place.

He added: "It's incredibly disrespectful. It's great news it's back - especially as we will be gathering to remember those who have fallen this weekend."

A police spokesman confirmed the plaque had been found at an address in Blackburn after a warrant was issued to search a property.

He said: "A man was arrested but released and no further action will be taken with regards to the war memorial which has been returned to the church."

 
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