A war veteran hopes to honour the men he fought alongside by building his village's first war memorial.

Bob Piper will never forget the bravery of the men who died during the second world war.

And to ensure their names live on the 82-year-old is appealing for help in raising £11,000 to set up the first monument to their memory in Southwater.

Mr Piper, who lives in Worthing Road, in Southwater, said: "What I want to create is a physical point where people can go. We wouldn't have what we've got today if it hadn't been for those people giving up their lives.î He and six others hope to commission a monument inspired by Cleopatraís needle in London to be based in the village centre on Lintot Square, off Fairbank Road.

The committee has already raised a third of the costs towards the memorial but is appealing to residents to help them reach their target.

The project has special significance for Mr Piper who was one of the youngest people to join the army, enrolling at 15 only a year after leaving school. He lied about his age because he wanted to fight for his country. Before then he was posted around the country protecting Britain's coastline from invasion as a member of the local defence volunteers.

The now retired brick worker was later billeted to Normandy in France during the D-Day landings as a signaller for the Scottish division.

Altogether 30 men from Southwater lost their lives during the two world wars.

While their names are listed on a plaque inside the village's Holy Innocent's church, Mr Piper said more should be done to honour their memories.

He said: "The Church is not for everybody in this day and age.

"At the last two Remembrance Sundays in Southwater there has been a commemorative table put up and a small service, but there has been no focal point.

"We should have something in memory of those we left behind at war.

"Our division ended up losing 11,744 men. Some of them were close friends.

"You don't ever forget those people because you were involved.

"Some people will argue Southwater only lost 30 men. There are 11,000 people in the village now but back then it was tiny.

"Besides, it's all one big family in the services. We tend to stick together quite a lot."

Horsham District council will loan the site for the monument and it is hoped it will be completed by Remembrance Sunday in November, marking the ninetieth anniversary of the end of world war 1.

Donations can either be handed in at the Parish Council offices in Beeson House, Lintot Square, Southwater or be sent to Janey Grange at 114 Woodlands Way, Southwater, RH13 9DR. Cheques should be made payable to Southwater War Memorial Fund.