Poppy tributes are laid on the grave of a March soldier who died in battle 100 years ago.
- Credit: Archant
A March soldier who died fighting in WW1 has been remembered in a special service at St Wendredas Church.
The Royal British Legion Riders Branch paid respects to Company Sergeant Major Harry Franklin as part of a project honouring men who died during battle 100 years ago.
CSM Franklin is number 868 of 876 men of the Cambridgeshire Regiment who died as a result of their actions in WW1.
He was the son of Robert and Betsy Franklin of March and was married to Mary Jane Franklin. He enlisted in February 1909 and was discharged in March 1916 because of sickness.
He received his silver war badge as an army pensioner and died of tuberculosis disease.
The service at St Wendredas Church took place on Saturday 30 and was followed by paying respects at his grave in the adjoining cemetery.
Gary Fisher gave a short overview of the project and Christine Green also a Cambs 876 Remembered Committee Member read details of CSM Franklin.
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The Rev Andrew Smith conducted the service which saw poppy crosses laid on the soldier’s headstone with Last Past and Reveille being played by Bobby Crick.
Dignitaries included Colonel Mark Knight MBE DL, Deputy Lieutentant of Cambridgeshire, Councillor Peter Human, the Mayor of Wisbech and Mayoress of Wisbech, Mrs Tanfield. Lt Cololenl David Denson TD and the Royal Anglian Regiment Association of Cambridgeshire.
Army Cadets from March and Chatteris detachments attended and also laid poppy crosses.
The eight members of the 876 Remembered Committee attending were Chris Green, Sam and Gary Fisher, Roger Hutchcraft, Karl Harvey, Keith Wainwright, Amanda Finch and Nick Sims.
After the service refreshments were served in the Church.
The Project has a further seven services to undertaken before its final service takes place in Guyhirn in May 2021 to remember Private J.E. Payne.
The intention of the Riders is to honour all 876 men as a part of the National WW1 centenary commemorations.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) records show that 876 officers and soldiers of The Cambridgeshire Regiment, were killed during WW1 and there are memorials to them at home and abroad.
The fallen are named in 208 cemeteries across six countries of UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Tanzania.
The first man fell in 1914 and the last man died in 1921.
• For further information on Cambs 876 Remembered visit their website.