THE community gathered for a special rededication of Cockermouth's iconic war memorial.

The bronze Greek god who has watched over the town since 1922 recently spent three months away undergoing vital repair work. The plinth stone work was also restored.

The town council organised a special service to mark the completion of the work.

Mayor David Malloy welcomed everyone.

"This is a very significant structure in the history of Cockermouth, I was honoured to be involved in the rededication. It was great to see such a good turnout," he said afterwards.

The service was lead by Canon Godfrey Butland.

"This is an iconic meeting place for our townspeople, where we can remember ancestors who have died during the war," he said.

"It was originally meant as a memorial for those who died in World War I, following the Second World War, more names were added." He thanked the town council for ensuring the memorial was restored.

"A special mention must go to council clerk Sheila Brown who has done so much work behind the scenes," he said.

Cockermouth Mechanics Band played and six pigeons were released by Albert Deacon. Isaac Hunter, 11, of All Saints School, and Louis Green, 15, of Cockermouth School, also did a short reading.

David Russell was standard bearer for the town's Royal Air Force Association.

Various community groups were represented, including the british legion, rotary, heritage group, first responders, mountain rescue team and civic trust.

Three generations of one Cockermouth family were there to represent other members.

Thomas Dickinson, nine, wore a World War I medal which was given to his great great grandfather Alfred Bush. He was with his mum, Liz, and her dad, Peter Bush. Mr Bush wore a selection of medals which his father, Charles Bush, was awarded following the World War II.

"It's vitally important that young people know to what they owe their freedom. These people fought for them," he said.

"It's great that the memorial has been restored and will be here for future generations."

The statue above the war memorial was deemed unsafe last year. Scaffolding was erected in May.

The repairs to the 750kg statue and plinth have cost the town council £97,500. They were delighted to secure a grant of up to £17,000 from the War Memorials Trust and be given various personal donations. A further £2,735 was raised at a Christmas event at The Fitz, Cockermouth.