LAST week Iden Parish Council was able to announce that the ownership of the War Memorial has been resolved – it legally belongs to the villagers.
Not only that, but the hedge surrounding the memorial is an integral part of the memorial, and must be preserved and maintained.
It has taken councillors a huge amount of time and effort to track down the records dating from 1921 to 1931, as well as the legal conveyance of the land.
Without their determined and entirely voluntary efforts this would either have been impossible, or would have cost the villagers thousands of pounds.
They deserve our congratulations on this considerable achievement.
There is however more work to be done, in reinstating the hedges originally planted by the British Legion (now the Royal British Legion).
The War Memorial Trust has recently advised that trees and shrubs can constitute a memorial, and in the case of Iden, it was clearly the original intention to include the hedge as an integral part.
Iden has a history of ‘self help’ over the years, including the recreation park and playing fields, the village hall, the bowls club, and, more recently, the restoration of the Old Hall and our striking Iden village sign.
Finally, the extraordinary creation of up to 60 footpath stiles by a volunteer village team (five years hard graft, supervised by an occasional sheep, and three miles cross country to the nearest pub!).
Between us we can secure the money, find willing volunteers, and carry out the labour needed to give our War Memorial back its quiet integrity and rightful place in the centre of the village. We owe this to future villagers.