A CEREMONY has been held to mark the unveiling of a new war memorial in Puriton after a couple tirelessly raised £4,000 for the project. 

June Holland, 80, and her husband Dennis, 84, started fund-raising for the memorial two years ago and approached local businesses to contribute.

June said she was prompted to start fundraising when someone asked her on Armistice Day a few years ago why Puriton didn’t have a war memorial.

June, who suffers from leukaemia, said she was held up a bit by the planning permission which eventually came through in March.

There were various objections from people who didn’t want it near their homes but June persevered and managed to get an agreed site on the Rye Green with the granite monument, with a poppy carved into the design, erected last week.

The ceremony took place around the war memorial at 2pm on Sunday, where the 26 names of those from Puriton who were killed in the First and Second World Wars, were read out. Posies of rosemary and lavender were also laid as a tribute.

The ceremony was also attended by Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis who donated £100. Other donations include £1,000 from Burnham’s Co-op branch as well as a donation from undertakers John Biffin.

June, who lives in Taunton but grew up in Puriton, said: “It was sheer pleasure getting the donations for this war memorial. I wouldn’t even say it was hard work it was such nice work. I wrote to people and more often than not they agreed to donate. There were some disagreements about where to site it but in the end the site was chosen and it was full steam ahead.”

June said that the lettering of the deceased fighters, which has been inscribed on the new war memorial, was done for free by Bridgwater stonemason Adam Barnes.