Graves of Melton war heroes to be cleaned up after campaign was forged

Melton in Bloom representatives Brian Hodder, Maureen Betts and Lucy Wood, with borough councillor Simon Lumley in the cemetery where they are campaigning to get graves of former servicemen cleaned up EMN-180905-150135001
Melton in Bloom representatives Brian Hodder, Maureen Betts and Lucy Wood, with borough councillor Simon Lumley in the cemetery where they are campaigning to get graves of former servicemen cleaned up EMN-180905-150135001
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Campaigners are celebrating after achieving their quest to get the graves of 10 Melton war heroes cleaned up.

Borough councillor Simon Lumley joined forces with members of the town branch of the Royal British Legion and Melton In Bloom to lobby for the work to be done by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) in the town’s Thorpe Road cemetery.

Melton in Bloom and Royal British Legion representative Lucy Wood  in the cemetery where she is campaigning to get graves of former servicemen cleaned up EMN-180518-173409001

Melton in Bloom and Royal British Legion representative Lucy Wood in the cemetery where she is campaigning to get graves of former servicemen cleaned up EMN-180518-173409001

The commission had already restored seven graves of mainly former RAF personnel last year but another 10 still need to be cleaned up.

And the organisation said this week it would carry out the work on the outstanding gravestones on Monday.

Councillor Lumley said: “This is very welcome news.

“We got a number of these war graves restored in another part of Thorpe Road cemetery last year, and so this will complement these.

“It is a tribute that this is happening on the centenary of the end of the First World War, and on the 100th year of the Royal Air Force.

“I wish to say thank you to the CWGC for now planning to carry this out and to the Melton Times, for reporting the story this week and helping to make this happen.”

The CWGC was founded during the First World War and is responsible for the commemoration in perpetuity of all those who died serving with what we would now call the Commonwealth armed forces, during the two world wars.

Today the organisation cares for war graves and memorials to 1.7 million servicemen and women and look after their gravestones and memorials at 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries and territories.

A spokesperson for the CWGC told the Melton Times: “Someone from the commission has been to the Melton site recently and one of our teams of skilled craftsmen is scheduled to visit on Monday when they will clean the headstones.

“He reports that the horticulture in both plots in the cemetery is of a good standard.

“We are very grateful to the campaigners and to the Melton Times for the obvious interest in our work and the care of these fallen heroes and we hope you are reassured that we have their care at the forefront of everything we do so that they will always be remembered.”

The CWGC cares for 170.000 war graves at 13,000 locations in the UK.

The vast majority of these graves are scattered in churchyards and burial grounds not directly owned or maintained by the CWGC but they do inspect every grave and have contracts and a cycle of maintenance in place for their care.