Ex-serviceman takes on graves mission
79-year-old decides to keep burial plots tidy
A FORMER serviceman whose father fought in the First World War has made it his mission to ensure soldiers’ graves are well looked after.
Terry Grey, 79, of School Lane, Chalfont St Peter, tends the graves of the nine soldiers from both world wars which are in cemeteries around the village.
The former governor of Chalfont St Peter Academy was offered £50 by the Royal British Legion to cut ivy off the stones, keeping them clean, putting wooden crosses on them throughout the year and placing wreaths during the time of commemoration in November.
Mr Grey, whose father
Terry Grey will take care of the war graves was in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War, refused the money.
“I would be offended to take money to do that,” he said. “Half an hour every now and then to keep their graves looking nice is no big deal.
“It is no big job and the soldiers have to be treated with respect. They need respect and remembrance and it’s good all the children are being told about this as part of their education.”
Villagers may see Mr Grey collecting for the Poppy Appeal outside Budgens supermarket in Market Place when he is not tending to the soldiers’ plots in cemeteries such as St Paul’s Church in Horn Hill and The Garden of Rest in Denham Lane.
He has noticed a boost in collections this year and put it down to the centenary of the start of the First World War, which he says ‘ has really got to people’.
Mr Grey was inspired to maintain the graves after a trip with Chalfont St Peter Academy years ago to the Commonwealth War Graves in Bayeux.
He was touched by the fields of crosses and has returned annually with a friend.
He was stationed in Germany for his National Service and is proud to look after the graves, one of which is that of VC holder LieutenantCommander Geoffrey Heneage Drummond (January 25, 1886 – April 21, 1941).