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Last Updated: Monday, 30 October 2006, 20:13 GMT
War memorial discovered in garage
Part of the war memorial in storage
The church the memorial had been in was demolished
A Nottinghamshire man is hoping to get a memorial to 174 war dead re-erected after it was found lying in bits in a garage, unseen in public for 17 years.

Research by John Bettridge led him to trace the memorial, which includes his grandfather Simeon Brown, to a lock-up garage of a Derbyshire stonemason.

It was removed from a Nottingham church which was demolished in 1989.

But Mr Bettridge hopes, with backing from Nottingham City Council, it will be restored in a church in Basford.

His paternal grandfather Ernest - who died aged 26 in the Battle of the Somme in October 1916 - is named on a plaque on his local cenotaph in Hucknall in Nottinghamshire.

John Bettridge
John Bettridge researched how his grandfathers died

But subsequent research revealed Simeon Brown, his maternal grandfather, was also killed in the same battle less than a month later aged 23.

In August Mr Bettridge, his brother and cousin visited both grandfathers' graves in France.

He said his mother and father died not knowing that the graves existed.

More research led him to find a memorial to Simeon Brown and 173 other war dead stored in the lock-up garage in Derbyshire.

"You wouldn't expect to find it in a place like this would you?" said Mr Bettridge.

"It's taken some finding but now I've found it I'm determined to get it back in a church and dedicated."

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