A STATUE at Burnley Cemetery, in honour of a fallen soldier, has been repaired and cleaned in advance of the town's First World War commemorations.

Private James Booth, of the King’s Own Royal Lancasters, lost his life in action in France at the age of 30 in September 1917 and his grave is a well-known landmark in the Rossendale Road graveyard.

Earlier this year local resident Craig Simpson called for the memorial, which had been damaged and fallen into disrepair, to be restored.

Andrew Brown, owner of Crow Wood Leisure Centre, offered to fund restoration work.

Now the work has been carried out, and Mr Simpson and Mr Brown joined stonemason Bill Hedley at the cemetery to mark the restoration.

Mr Hedley’s company Stone Edge, based at Lomeshaye Business Village, cleaned the grave and repaired the statue, replacing the rifle and other key features.

Mr Simpson said: “I think the work has been carried out really well.

“Private Booth’s relatives, who put up this memorial in the 1920s would have been pleased to know that respect is still being shown to him and the other Burnley soldiers who lost their lives in the war.

“We specialise in historic building restoration. This was an important challenge for us, and involved some imaginative work.”

Cameron Collinge, Burnley Council’s cemetery manager, said: “We are pleased this work has been carried out, and thank Mr Brown.

“Over the coming weeks, Stone Edge will reletter and clean all the public war memorials in the borough as part of the council’s contribution to the respectful remembrance of the First World War that so many Burnley people and organisations are contributing to.”