A war veteran has unveiled plans for a memorial to honour those who died in the World Wars.

David De Souza has been campaigning to have a memorial built for those who served from Stoneclough, Ringley and Prestolee.

He said: “There is a cenotaph in Kearsley. The cenotaph in Kearsley has all the names from the World Wars of the fallen from the Kearsley area.

“But for Prestolee, Stoneclough and Ringley, there’s just names up in St Saviour’s Church and Prestolee church.

“I’m a veteran myself so this didn’t sit right for me."

Born and bred in Radcliffe but living in Stoneclough since 1997, David created Ringley’s first "poppy waterfall" for Remembrance Day three years ago, with a display hung annually from Ringley Old Bridge.

At the same time, however, David began looking to do something more permanent – drawing up plans for a permanent memorial to honour the fallen, funded by donations.

The memorial will cost around £10,000 and will be made with modern material, but is designed to look old in line with the desired location, St Saviour’s Church.

Architectural drawings and plans were done free of charge by a local structural engineer.

However, the location chosen has thrown up some red tape – making things take longer than expected.

Bury Times: CGI image of the plans for the new cenotaphCGI image of the plans for the new cenotaph (Image: David De Souza)

David said: “With everything I do, things are just not straightforward. The best place that I wanted the cenotaph is on the church grounds.

“That threw up a lot of other issues, where I’ve had to get permission from Bolton Council, St Saviour’s Church, the Diocese of Manchester, and the Parish Church Council to have their blessing.

“I’m working with a guy within Bolton Council who put me in touch with a chartered surveyor, because I need a chartered surveyor’s report.

“The land St Saviour’s Church sits within is owned by Bolton Council, so I had to get them involved.

"The report that is needed it to say how much the land is going to decrease or increase in value.

“But it was now thrown into the mix that because the land is deconsecrated we don’t actually know what’s underneath there, so I can’t just go along like you’d normally do in any other area and do a trial dig because there could be human remains.”

Bury Times: An architectural drawing of the new cenotaphAn architectural drawing of the new cenotaph (Image: David De Souza)

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A scan using a non-intrusive ground penetrating radar will now take place in April to make sure there are no human remains.

David said: “It’s actually what they use on Time Team before they do an archaeological dig. It looks like a lawnmower with a monitor on it.

"They map out a grid area and they walk up and down with this machine and it literally sends out a ping like a submarine does, like a SONAR.

“When that ping comes back, it creates an image on the screen and it will tell you if there’s headstones or human remains, as in bone fragments and anything else."

He added: “With it being deconsecrated, no-one knows what’s underneath there.

"In the past 100 years, the gravestones were taken up and I’ve heard that some were just pushed over and covered in topsoil, so who knows what we’re going to find.

“There’s been a lot of hurdles that we’ve had to cross, we’re three years on and we’ve got to get this scan done.

“It’s been hard going, but this scan should be quite interesting, because I don’t believe it’s ever been done, especially not in this area in this capacity, looking for and hopefully not finding human remains.”

David also said costs involved in the project have cut due to the nature of it.

He added: “It’s because of what the project is, that’s why people are willing to give their time for free, or close to it.”

A military veteran, David served in the British army before beginning work as a private security contractor in Iraq.

However, in 2007, he was attacked by a suicide bomber and suffered a brain haemorrhage and broken back.

Bury Times: David's (left) life was saved by an American nurse called Katie (right), whom he subsequently met in Paris where he thanked her and presented her with a paintingDavid's (left) life was saved by an American nurse called Katie (right), whom he subsequently met in Paris where he thanked her and presented her with a painting (Image: David De Souza)

After rehab and a lengthy legal battle with his employer’s insurance company, David ended up winning compensation of £1m.

He now lives with post-traumatic stress disorder and cognitive issues as a result of the attack.

David said: “They had to pay me out a million, and I think, top of my head, the medical bills, because I was seeing a psychologist every month for over 10 years, I had CAT scans at the Beaumont Hospital up in Bolton, all sorts because of my back and that.

“The medical bills were £67,000, so they had to pay me that. They paid me out, and that was it – it was a new chapter.”