School leavers help vet­er­ans clean up war graves

Rossendale Free Press - - Family Announcements -

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.”

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