A CAMPAIGN to save a North Oxford war memorial from collapse has raised enough money for its restoration.

Death watch beetles have been slowly destroying the unusual memorial at St Margaret’s Church, on the corner of Kingston Road and St Margaret’s Road.

Two years ago an appeal was launched to fund £28,000 of restoration work.

Now a £6,000 grant from the War Memorials Trust and the final £1,200 raised by an open gardens event means the eight-week restoration will start on Monday, August 1.

Liz Wade, who has helped lead the campaign to save the memorial, said: “We are absolutely delighted. We started fundraising in 2009 and we have found huge support in the community.

“It has been absolutely brilliant, and all sorts of people have come forwards to help, both individuals and groups.”

The work should be completed in time for a rededication ceremony on Remembrance Sunday, which falls on November 13.

The memorial, which shows a figure of Christ hanging on an oak cross, is dedicated to 47 men from nearby streets who died in the First World War. It was one of 200 figures cast at Lucy’s Foundry in Jericho.

The statue was sandblasted in 1999 and twice repainted to save it from rust, but the oak pillars and semi dome have been eroded by beetle and rot, leaving it on the verge of collapse.

Of the men commemorated, most were teenagers or in their 20s, and include 12 Oxford undergraduates and four sets of brothers.

Twenty one of them have no known grave, and the memorial is the only way they are officially remembered.

As part of the restoration, for the first time a new plaque will be added marking the loss of soldiers in conflicts since the First World War.

Mrs Wade said: “It is a very unusual memorial. We think the reason for its style is that it resembles the calvaries the soldiers would have seen in Flanders during the war.

“It is expensive to renovate and comply with all sorts of regulations.”

Local historians have traced families of seven of the men remembered on the memorial.