School leavers help veterans clean up war graves
SCHOOL leavers have been working with veterans to clean up memorial stones dedicated to First World War veterans.
Memorials and graves of 135 veterans at Bacup Cemetery were marked with simple stones laid by Veterans In Communities (VIC) working with Prince’s Trust volunteers from Accrington and Rossendale.
Now a group of 16 to 17-year-olds from the National Citizen Service, based in Bury, has been working with VIC to clean up the stones.
The initial project used the book ‘Where Heroes Rest’ written by local historian Wendy Lord, information from the Commonwealth Graves War Commission and cemetery maps from Rossendale Borough Council to identify the graves.
Some only had keystones with initials and a number and many had been hidden over time.
In the two years since the project finished, the new stones have been covered by leaves and grass and so the young volunteers were challenged to clean them up in time for Armistice Day.
As well as cleaning the stones, the team will also lay out memorial white crosses with poppies and hold a simple service to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The project is being managed by VIC member Mick Armstrong.
Mick said: “The team have been working really hard to make sure all the stones are cleaned in time for Remembrance Sunday for all the families.”