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Home  >  News  >  Restoring 'the Boys on the Bronze'


Restoring 'the Boys on the Bronze'

Wednesday November 9

A Greenock minister has been burning the midnight oil preparing for Remembrance Sunday - not writing his sermon but restoring a First World War memorial plaque.

When Greenock Methodist and St Andrew Square United Free churches closed their buildings earlier this year, the Rev Alan Sorensen offered to re-site their War Memorials in Wellpark Mid Kirk, where he is minister. The memorials will be rededicated in a special part of this Sunday’s Remembrance Day service entitled ‘The Boys on the Bronze’.

But first one of the memorials needed some restoration, which allowed Mr Sorensen – a musician and an award-winning DJ, as well as long-serving minister - to use one of his other skills.

He said: “We are really privileged to be able to offer a new home to these important memorials. It just so happens that one of my hobbies is restoring antique chandeliers – the house is full of them! I’ve been putting my array of polishes and pastes to work to bring it back to its former glory.

“It’s an odd feeling: having meticulously polished every letter of their names, you begin to feel that you know ‘The Boys on the Bronze’. It may be one hundred years on from the First World War, however the families of the people on those memorials are still here – in fact one of the men’s granddaughters has kindly lent us a postcard he sent from France to be read, and so it’s important to make sure that they are still on display the their memory honoured.”

The service begins at 10.50am on Sunday and will include the reading of letters sent from the Front during WW1, including some from the men on the plaques. These will be read by young people from the local cadet forces, and there will then be a special rededication which will include members of the Methodist and United Free congregations. All former members of those congregations are welcome to attend.

Sharing the service with Mr Sorensen will be the Rev Don Keane from St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church and Natasha Murphy, who is a member of the Elim Pentecostal Church. The Provost, members of Inverclyde Council, local members of the Scottish and Westminster parliaments, the French Consul and representatives of many community groups and uniformed organisations will also attend.


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