PUTLEY'S forgotten soldier has been remembered at last, almost a century after he fell in battle.

The war memorial, at the east end of Putley Churchyard, is currently undergoing a £1200 restoration.

It was originally dedicated in June 1920, in memory of four local men who never returned to Putley from the Great War.

But a fifth soldier had marched away, never to return, and his name was not recorded on the Putley memorial or, indeed, on any UK war memorial.

Now the soldier's name has come to light, the memorial with the extra name will be re-dedicated on July 5, at 9.30am, with a representation of the soldier's family in attendance.

Tim Beaumont, Putley's churchyard monitor, whose enquires at a national level led to the missing name being found, said the original omission of the man's name was "a mystery", but it was probably down to his family having moved away from the village.

Mr Beaumont said: "During exhaustive research and appeals in national country magazines concerning our war memorial, to determine the creators of what is very fine work, the name of a fifth Putley boy came to light.

"Private James Evans, born in Putley, was killed in Belgium in 1917, while serving with the Third Battalion of the Worcester Regiment."

Mr Beaumont said: "His name appears on no UK memorial. With a substantial grant from the War Memorials Trust and assistance from Private Evans grandson, Mike, Putley Parish Council and the Friends of Putley Church, not only has Private Evans been inscribed on the memorial but, a lean to the south which has developed in the Crucifix over 95 years has been corrected.

"The additional name has been inscribed by Hereford letterer Will O’Leary whilst the repairs to the crucifix have been done by local craftsman Marcus Mortimer and his team at MJM Woodworking."

The soldier's grandson, Michael Evans, read an article in Country Life magazine, about Putley's war memorial and he realised that his grandfather's name was missing.

Fortunately, Mr Evans, who lives in Guildford, still had his grandfather's war record, and so a wrong that had lasted the best part of a century was put right.

Mr Evans enlisted in the 3rd Regiment Royal Worcestershire Regiment in 1915.

At some stage, before his death, he moved his family to Plymouth.

Army records show he was then with the 6th battalion and stationed at Raglan Barracks, Devonport.

He was killed on April 20, 1917 aged just 25, leaving his wife and young daughter, Violet living in Plymouth.

On July 5, his grandson will attend the rededication service, where he will read the lesson.

Mr Beaumont believes the war memorial may be unique in its design, and it may be work of craftsmen who also worked on the Albert Memorial in London.

He said: "In the 1870s Squire Riley, having bought 900 acre of Putley, rebuilt the church. He employed London architect Charles Blashill who used London carvers Fowler and Brindley for the fine work on the reredos and the altar. Fowler and Brindley were employed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott for the carvings on the Albert Memorial. Riley was still in Putley in 1920; the memorial is on land he gave to the church and the suspicion is that the family provided the majority of the money required for the construction. "Such a family would not want anything but good work associated with their name, hence the suspicion Fowler and Brindley were the craftsmen involved."

Research on this possibility is still ongoing.