PLA's War Memorial Restoration
(l-r) PLA's Harbour Master for the lower tidal Thames, Captain Roy Stanbrook with former PLA chief executive, John Black, who led the rededication of the war memorial when it was first moved to Tilbury, and current PLA chief executive Richard Everitt at the War Memorial
The gallant action of nearly 500 Port of London Authority (PLA) men who lost their lives during the two world wars has been recognised with a major war memorial restoration project.
Thousands of PLA staff joined up during the wars. Many more played an equally crucial role, staying at home to ensure the vital trade lines through the Port stayed open.
As it celebrated its centenary this year, the PLA employed stone masons, glaziers, carpenters and painters to work on the memorials. Originally installed at the PLA's former head office at Trinity Square, London, the memorials are now inside the London International Cruise Terminal in Tilbury, Essex.
The craftsmen, whose recent work included the restoration of the Monument in London, spent three months renovating the memorials. They repaired two cracked and crumbling marble tablets, which commemorate the port authority staff who died during the First World War. And they also carried out restoration work on a stained glass window, built as a memorial to PLA people who died during World War II.
Lee Walker, from the PLA's civil engineering department, led the £13,000 project. He said:
"We took the opportunity while working on the memorials to make sure the area looks good, jet washing the surrounding flag stones and repairing a case which houses a memorial book for those who served. It was a great privilege to do something that keeps the memory of our colleagues alive."
During the First World War, 3,600 PLA staff joined the forces, with 402 being killed in action. The medals they won included two Victoria Crosses, one Distinguished Service Order, one Distinguished Service Cross, 25 Military Crosses, one Distinguished Flying Cross, 11 Distinguished Conduct Medals, two Distinguished Service Medals, and 47 Military Medals.
Of the 1,400 PLA people who served in World War II, 64 were killed in battle. A further 61 staff died as a result of enemy action in London while they kept the Port open for crucial shipping supplies.
Click here for more information about the war memorials.