A ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of the building of the new Peace Memorial has taken place in Stratton St Margaret.

Parish councillors and parishioners gathered to see the first sod turned at the corner of Grange Drive and Ermin Street, where the memorial will be built.

Planning permission for the structure was approved in April and it is hoped that the memorial will be built in time for August 4 – the anniversary of the start of the First World War.

John Foley, chairman of Stratton St Margaret Parish Council, said: “It’s a great moment for the parish, a lot of hard work has gone into bringing a peace memorial to Stratton in this centenary year.

“We wanted to install a memorial to commemorate the people who lost their lives fighting for peace in the First World War.”

The memorial, which was designed by Tony Currivan, an architect with Swindon Council which footed the bill for the fees and architectural services, will be built by Beard Construction.

The memorial comprises three elements including a zig-zag path, a grail sculpture for focus and reflection and a brick structure representing Stratton St Margaret and the dragon protecting the grail.

There will be a dedication service held at the memorial on August 3 from 3pm by the Bishop of Swindon.

The Royal British Legion will lead a parade from Grange Leisure to the site, and all residents are invited to attend.