Plans are in motion to begin the restoration of a memorial to a royal surgeon from Dorset in time for a ceremony to mark 100 years since his death.

Work to restore the memorial to Frederick Treves at the cemetery in Weymouth Avenue in Dorchester is due to begin after a payment was guaranteed to local business Grassby and Son stone masons.

As previously reported, the Celtic Cross memorial has been left in a state of disrepair with the inscription illegible, and historical groups in Dorset have been rallying for its repair.

Dorset Echo: The Dorchester Civic Society has arranged for the work to go ahead so that it can be completed in time for the annual graveside memorial service dedicated to Treves which this year will take place at 2pm on Sunday, July 7.

Already raising £200 in donations, the society, which has been working in tandem with the Dorset Society for Men and the Dorchester Association, are appealing for the rest of the works, worth £1,500, to be covered.

Chair of the Dorchester Civic Society, Ian Gosling said: “We have made all the arrangements with Grassby’s to start the work.

“We’ve done this because we are working towards the graveside ceremony in July on the basis that the site will be spick and span in time.

“At the moment it’s extremely difficult to read what remains on the memorial.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to Grassby’s for the good quote- they have really made an effort to help by delivering the work at cost.”  

Treves was born in Cornhill, Dorchester in 1853 and became a surgeon in 1875. He was most known for his work with Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man. Treves showed kindness to Merrick from 1886 until Merrick’s death in 1890.

Dorset Echo: The surgeon wrote about this in his book, The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences. It was adapted into a film in 1980 by David Lynch, where Treves was played by Anthony Hopkins.

Anyone who would like to contribute towards the restoration of the memorial is asked to write a cheque to : Grassby & Son ltd, 6, Princes Street, Dorchester DT1 1TW. The reverse of cheques should be marked ‘Treves Memorial Fund.’ Cash payments can also be made out to ‘Treves Memorial Fund.’