A grandmother is battling to get a forgotten war memorial placed on prominent public view.
On the five-foot marble plinth, hidden in the grounds of a leisure centre, are the names of the city’s 200 gas works employees killed during World War One.
The brass sculpture of Britannia which once sat proudly above the monument has long since been snapped off by metal thieves.
Only one person lays a wreath on Remembrance Day in the unlikely setting of Hollyfields Sports Centre, Erdington. It is 80-year-old Christine Harvey.
The name of her grandfather, William Ward – killed at Gallipoli in 1917 – is among the list of heroes.
Since discovering the memorial, which was once proudly displayed at the city centre Birmingham Gas Department, grandmother Christine has campaigned to have it erected at a more suitable site.
The National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire – dedicated to war victims – is top of her wishlist.
She has the full support of Hollyfields management, but cash remains a stumbling block.
Managers of the arboretum say she would have to pay to have the monument moved there.
Christine, from Kingshurst, has approached Erdington Royal British Legion for help. “When I found the memorial I couldn’t believe the state it was in,” she said.
“I had to scrape the mould away to get to my grandfather’s name, and grass cuttings had been dumped nearby.
“People don’t know it’s there, but I’m sure there are families who have lost loved ones, and who would want to see it.
“I’ve tried to get it moved, but the cost is the problem. The arboretum would be an ideal location.”
William Ward worked at the Nechells gas depot before joining the Warwickshire Regiment after war broke out.
The Saltley man was killed on November 6, 1917, and is buried at Thessalonika.
Christine first found out about the structure from an aunt who told tales of polishing its brass.
Five years ago she and cousin Joan Higginbottom decided to search for the missing memorial.
Birmingham Museum’s archives department provided the pair with details of its unveiling ceremony in November 1921.
It remained at the gas department hall, where the city museum now stands, until the 1960s,
Christine believes, when it was moved to the company’s Erdington sports grounds.
There the monument has remained despite the land since being sold to the private sector.
A Hollyfields spokeswoman said: “You’ve got to know where the monument is.
“It’s not something that’s immediately visible.
“We would not stand in the way if the families want it moved.”
Paul Kennedy, curator at the National Memorial Arboretum, considers public requests to place memorials in the grounds, although the onus for ‘sourcing finances’ lies with the applicant.