Young people give TLC to Chatteris town’s war graves and memorials
Young people have begun cleaning the graves and memorials of Chatteris World War 1 personnel in the town’s two cemeteries.
Youth members of Chatteris’ Branch of the Royal British Legion and other young supporters have worked with the help of Nicky Stockman of Chatteris Remembers, who has researched and located the headstones and memorials.
The teenagers are working their way around the cemeteries to provide some care and attention to the town’s war fallen.
So far, the youth element comprising: Kane Seal, Brandon Sharp, Chelsea Bellfield Pearson, Zak Stephens, Sam Stockman and Joseph Templeman, supported by RBL adult members and helpers Leah Templeman, David Seal, Danielle Grange, and Jordan Bullman, have worked on seven memorials, including that of Pte Edmund Cooper (2nd Lincolnshire Regiment).
Edmund was recently brought back to life as the central character in a play performed by Kingsfield Year 6 students in July, focusing on lives of Chatteris soldiers during the war.
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The group have been overwhelmed by the support of local busineses for this project, highlighting the respect that still exists for the war dead.
The organiser, Leah Templeman, has had donations of equipment and materials from both Chatteris and March store including: The Cheap Shop, Travis Perkins, The Co-op, Budgens, Pete’s second hand shop and Chatteris Garage.
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Donations of items and vouchers in March were from West End DIY, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
The biggest and most significant donation came from the March branch of Ridgeons, who provided over 20 bags of gravel, weed suppressant liners and equipment to enhance and protect the memorials once the clearing work is completed.
This work is likely to be ongoing over the next couple of years due to the number of memorials and graves that need to be tended.
This voluntary work runs alongside the short services that the youth members are orchestrating to commemorate the death of Chatteris’ WW1 servicemen.
The first service was held on August 26 to remember Pte Tom Seekings (2nd Suffolk Battalion) and the next will be for Pte George Palmer of the 1st Grenadier Guards. This will take place at Chatteris War Memorial at 11am on October 26. All are welcome.
For more details or if you wish to get involved with these activities, please search Facebook for Chatteris Royal British Legion or the Chatteris Remembers Group. Alternatively contact Maj Norman Larke (Rtd) on firstname.lastname@example.org, 01354-694375.