IT was an emotional appeal to a Southampton community to help honour their fallen.

And now a city vicar has praised locals after they rallied round his plea for help.

It comes after Revd Dan Clark appealed for funds to help repair the war memorial at St James by The Park Church in Shirley.

The memorial honours 57 Southampton men who died in the First World War, 17 who served in the Hampshire regiment which lost 7,580 officers and men in action during the conflict.

Reverend Clark launched a community campaign to raise £500 to clean up the memorial, repair the foundations and replace some of the missing letters.

This target was exceeded and more than £600 was donated.

Paul Thomas, a stonemason from Allstone Stonemasons has lived in Shirley all his life also offered to help with the restoration for a discounted.

Revd Clark said: “I am very grateful to everyone who has kindly donated money to help restore the war memorial in time for Armistice day. The memorial looks stunning and is now set to last another 100 years.”

City councillor Satvir Kaur who represents Shirley also backed the appeal and said that she hoped local people would come together to help restore the memorial.

She said: “I’m really pleased for St James’ church as well as the local community in and around Shirley. Shirley really does come together and this is a great example of it.

“It is so important that we remember our diverse local community that made so many sacrifices for our freedom today.”

The work has been carried out just days ahead of Remembrance Sunday, when members of the church will mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

St James’ by The Park Remembrance Sunday service will begin at 10.30 am which will include reading the names of the 57 men who died. There will be music from the Salvation Army band, and Shirley ward councillor Hannah Coombs will lead the laying of wreaths.