EIGHT years' hard work is due to come to fruition next month - when a statue honouring war heroines is finally unveiled.

The long-awaited £1.2 million memorial is due to be revealed in London by The Queen in three weeks.

And the team who battled to secure the Whitehall statue have held a meeting in York, reflecting on their tireless fundraising campaign.

City MP Hugh Bayley, vice-patron of the charity that raised funds for the Second World War memorial, joined its chairman, Major David Robertson, and other trustees at the York Minster meeting.

Among the group were war veterans Edna Storr, from Selby, and Mildrid Veal, from York, who triggered Mr Bayley's interest in the appeal.

Appropriately, they met beneath the Minster's Five Sisters window - restored in the 1920s to honour British women who fell in the First World War.

Mr Bayley said: "750,000 women served in the armed forces and another six million in other war-time occupations, and still brought up children and kept families together in the most difficult circumstances.

"They did not just do their bit - they made a crucial difference between winning and losing, especially in those dark days between 1940 and 1942 when Britain stood alone."

Major Robertson hailed a "tremendous team effort" and "typical British bulldog determination".

The statue is due to be unveiled on July 9.

Updated: 10:38 Tuesday, June 21, 2005