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Peper Harow Memorial Plaques. St Nicholas Church

These two brass memorial plaques, dedicated to General Sir Henry Dalrymple-White and to his wife Louisa-Mary had suffered severe damage following a fire which partially destroyed the church in which they were housed.

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The larger of the two plaques is dedicated to Sir Henry Dalrymple-White (1820-1886), an Army General, who commanded the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons during the Crimean War.

The smaller plaque is dedicated to his first wife Louisa, who died aged just 25 in 1860.

Both plaques were covered in a thick layer of smoke residue and deposits of paint which had bubbled and bled due to the fire. The only image of the plaques prior to the fire was taken by a local historian and showed only the larger plaque, dedicated to Sir Henry. However samples of paint taken from the smaller plaque showed that it had been brightly painted to match the larger plaque.

The two detachable crosses which were decorated with enamels and glass stones had survived fairly well, with most if their decoration intact; albeit covered in soot.

The thick deposits of soot and degraded paint were removed using paint proprietary paint remover and repeated immersion in a bath of DTPA before the surface could be gently polished.

While cleaning the smaller plaque it was discovered that the engraved text and images were originally gilded but had later been painted over. In all likelihood this was to make this earlier plaque match the later one for Sir Henry which it was installed some 25 years later.

Having been fully cleaned, polished and repainted the plaques were returned to await re-installation in the newly refurbished church.

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