Stonemason Nick Johnson has spoken of his pride after being asked to rebuild a war memorial dedicated to those killed in Iraq.

Young Johnson Monumental Masons on the West Wilts Trading Estate in Westbury, was given the contract to rebuild the Basra Memorial Wall, which was moved from Iraq to the national centre of remembrance in Lichfield, Staffordshire.

The memorial, which is made of red brick and has been encased in stone, was unveiled at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah.

Mr Johnson, 46, who runs Young Johnson with wife, Helen, 43, has already created war memorials for the Royal Green Jackets, 30 Squadron and the Queen’s Guards, which are also located at the National Memorial Arboretum.

He said: “It’s a real honour to be asked to do it. It’s incredible the amount of people that go up there to visit the memorials and this one was particularly poignant because it has all the names of all those killed in Iraq.

“I met some of the guys who actually built the original memorial in Basra and they were very happy with how it looks.

“I also met the families of some of the soldiers who will appear on the wall and they were very grateful because they have been campaigning for years to get the wall moved to Britain.

“I didn’t meet Gordon Brown but some of my lads got to meet David Cameron and I met the Duke of Gloucester.

“When I’ve been at the opening for the other memorials I’ve met the Duke of Edinburgh which was also an honour.”

The wall, which has 179 brass plaques to commemorate servicemen and women killed in Iraq since 2003, took about a month to build and was one of the biggest jobs the firm has been asked to do.

“They knocked the whole thing down in Basra and delivered it to me in two containers,” Mr Johnson said.

“I had to rebuild it from scratch – foundations straight the way up.

“We did a lot of the work here in Westbury and then took it up to Tamworth like a jigsaw puzzle on lorries.

“It took about a month to actually build but we lost a couple of weeks when we moved it up to Staffordshire because the weather was so bad.”