CABINET maker and furniture restorer Chris Legg of Chilbridge Farm, Wimborne, is looking for a home for a WW1 school memorial plaque he has restored.

"I came across the carved oak Wychwood School commemorative WW1 plaque when I was routing through the contents of a farm building near Lytchett Matravers, whilst searching for antique furniture and items of architectural salvage to restore," said Chris.

"I felt compelled to conserve the plaque and find it a new home with the agreement of the property owner. I gave it a good scrub, glued back together the frame and insert panel, lightly sanded it and gave it three coats of beeswax to reveal the quality of its carving, the work of a real master craftsman."

Carved on the plaque are the words, Per Ardua Ad Alt A. In Ever Loving Memory of Wychwood Boys Who 'Played the Game' in the Great War 1914-1918 and Were Called to Higher Service. At the bottom is carved the names of two school masters and the words ' Until the Day Break and the Shadows Flee Away'.

Fifteen former pupils of Wychwood School are listed with their rank, name of the regiment they served with and the date they died.

One of these was Edward William Wise Rebbeck, the son of Edward Wise Rebbeck of Bournemouth. He was 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps, and also served with the King's Royal Rifle Corps. He died on April 24 1916. It is possible he could be related to the Rebbeck family who set up the chartered surveyors and property managers in Bournemouth in 1845.

Sir John Henry Anson, son of Rear Admiral Algernon Horatio Anson, joined the Royal Navy and by 1916 was a sub lieutenant on HMS Barham. In the Spring of 1918 he was acting lieutenant on H5 submarine when he was killed.

Captain A.K. Skenton, son of a vicar in the East End of London, who died in the Summer of 1918 while serving with the Royal Engineers Signal Company was awarded the Military Cross and is buried at Crouy British Cemetery.

Another Military Cross recipient on the plaque was lieutenant Keith Knox Muspratt, who served with the Dorset Regiment, attached to the Royal Flying Corps. The son of Dr Charles Drummond and Mabel Muspratt of Madeira Road, Bournemouth, Keith went to Wychwood preparatory School before attending Sherborne School from 1911-1916. Training at Hendon during the holidays, he took his flying certificate before he left school and joined the R.F.C. within a week of leaving Sherborne. Shortly after receiving his 'wings' he was employed as an instructor and was then appointed to a testing squadron. He received the Military Cross for 'his skill, gallantry and initiative' when he served in France in 1917. He was only 20 years old when he was killed in Suffolk on March 16 1918.

Wychwood School, also known as Ladycross, was on Braidley Road, Bournemouth. Past pupils include My Family and Other Animals author Gerald Durrell and Group Captain Peter Townsend, RAF officer, flying ace and Master of the Royal Household with links to Princess Margaret.

Wychwood prepared young boys for public school and the Navy, with special attention paid to written and oral English and handicrafts, with younger boys making models and seniors 'grounded in simple carpentry'.

The school had its own playing field, a well-equipped gym, a covered-in swimming bath and fees were 45 guineas a term.

"I feel the memorial plaque would be best located in a school, leisure centre or public space where it would be regularly viewed by today's equivalent generation to those to whom their ultimate sacrifices it commemorates," said Chris.

Contact Echoes with suggestions for a suitable home for the plaque.