AN appeal to raise money for a war memorial honouring men from the village who fell in the First and Second World Wars is being launched by South Wraxall residents.

The names of the military personnel are printed onto two paper scrolls in the porch of St James Church but villagers decided more needed to be done, particularly with the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War this August.

Mark Caroe, chairman of South Wraxall Parish Council, said villager David Wyper approached the council wanting to see if a permanent memorial could be created.

Cllr Caroe said: “It is a fantastic idea and most timely.” Mr Wyper, 70, who was in the Navy for 39 years, has researched the names using family tree websites and books. He found some discrepancies with initials and the rank of one name and plans to verify his findings at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham.

He said: “The paper scrolls in the church porch won’t last forever and not everyone sees them. It is important, especially this year being the centenary, that we commemorate the 12 people within the village.

“If anyone can help with identifying people or if there are any relatives of those names, we would like to hear from them.”

The village has to raise around £7,000 for the York-shire stone memorial, which has been designed by a village architect, and will ask the area board for funding. Residents have already been donating money individually and the South Wraxall Club has planned an inaugural South Wraxall 0.75km sponsored walk on June 12 to raise further funds.

The walk will start from the club in Lower South Wraxall and finish at the Long Arms pub. Walkers need to raise a minimum of £10 each. There will also be a barn dance and auction on September 12 at Mr Caroe’s barn in the village. Anyone with information about the 12 men named can call Mr Wyper on 01225 865384.