Graves facelift for Great War centenary

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Neglected war graves in Spen are to receive a facelift in time for the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

The Spenborough Branch of the Royal British Legion is planning several events to mark the centenary in August 2014.

War historian and Legion member Charlie Turpin said: “There are 58 war graves within the Spen boundary mostly relating to men who were seriously wounded in France or Belgium and brought back to the UK where they eventually passed away.

“Other deaths in service relate to sickness, accident and one suicide. It is the intention of the Legion to ensure all these graves, which are in local cemeteries and churchyards, are in a clean and presentable condition.

“Permission to carry out these tasks has been given by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the local authority and churches will be approached for their approval.

“The work will be carried out by Legion members, and schools, Scouts and cadets will be invited to become involved.

“Schools may even wish to adopt a soldier’s grave. A photographic survey of all 58 graves has revealed there is much work to be done.”