WORK has started on the long-awaited war memorial in Tidworth.

The memorial, which is being built on land outside Tidworth Community Centre, will be the town’s first public war memorial.

It is due to be completed in time for Armed Forces Day in June.

The Tidworth War Memorial Committee, chaired by Daryl Stevenson, has worked tirelessly to raise funds with Tidworth Town Council to build a memorial for the community to remember those who have lost their lives serving their country.

Tidworth has had historic connections with the military since 1897 and is now one of the largest garrison towns in the UK.

Substantial contributions toward the building costs have been made by Persimmon Homes UK.

The mayor of Tidworth Town Council, Cllr Mark Connolly, made the first cut into the ground where the war memorial will be built.

He said: “This is the start of righting a longstanding wrong whereby a garrison town like Tidworth does not have a war memorial.

“I am proud to have been involved in negotiating the substantial foundation provided by Persimmon, without investment from the company we would not be here.”

The memorial will be made up of granite monoliths featuring engravings of the town’s history from the First World War up to the modern day.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes South Coast said: “We are proud to have contributed towards the new war memorial in Tidworth, commemorating the brave men and women who have served their country from the First World War to modern day.

“The memorial will provide a central point for the town as well as bringing together the community to reflect on the sacrifice made by those who gave their lives for their country.”

The official opening is due to take place on June 24 to coincide with Armed Forces Day.

The ceremony will start at 11am with the official opening at 1pm.