A CHURCH memorial to a gunner on a Barrow-built warship became part of the decorations for a Christmas festival held at Holy Trinity, Bolton-le-Sands.

The stone plaque to Edward Jackson Gaulter, a Leading Seaman on the cruiser HMS Powerful, provided a historic backdrop to artwork by Christ Church United Reformed Church — one of several community group designs around the church based on Christmas carols.

Powerful was launched by Vickers in 1895 and took long-range guns to Durban, South Africa, to be taken by rail and then hauled over rocky terrain to help lift the Siege of Ladysmith on March 1 in 1900.

This historic event took place during the Second Boer War.

It is still commemorated each year by the Royal Navy's field gun competition at the Royal Tournament.

HMS Powerful was 538ft long and could reach a top speed of 22 knots.

The ship was renamed HMS Impregnable in 1919 and scrapped in 1929.