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Remembering Great War heroes’ sacrifices

Charlie Turpin and Eddie Morton from the Spen branch of the Royal British Legion at the Whitcliffe Old Cemetery with a war grave which will be restored and cleaned as part of the WWI centenary commemorations.

Charlie Turpin and Eddie Morton from the Spen branch of the Royal British Legion at the Whitcliffe Old Cemetery with a war grave which will be restored and cleaned as part of the WWI centenary commemorations.

The graves of 58 Spen soldiers who died from injuries in 
the First World War are to be restored in time for the 
centenary in August.

Spenborough Royal British Legion members will carry out the work after securing permission from Kirklees Cemeteries department and the churches where the men are buried.

Charlie Turpin, an RBL member and war historian, said: “We will be giving them a good clean and tidy during the spring and summer, but if the families of any of the soldiers have objections to us doing this, we would like to hear from them, because it is a very sensitive issue.

“The graves are scattered all over Spen, and some are overgrown and dirty, so we would like to return them to their natural white state and tidy them up in time for the anniversary.”

Spen RBL has several other projects planned to commemorate the centenary.

Chairman Eddie Morton and secretary David Walker will be visiting schools to give talks and film shows about the war.

“Eddie has written to 33 schools and they hope to go to as many as possible because it is really important that young people learn about their heritage,” said Charlie.

The branch’s third project will be an exhibition in Cleckheaton Library.

“The library has very kindly given us a space and there will be display boards and a projector screen,” said Charlie.

“It will describe the whole of the war but with a particular focus on how it affected Spenborough. It will be there from August 4 for two months and then we will have exhibitions for the three consecutive years until 2018.

“It’s not about glorifying war, it’s about giving people the opportunity to remember the sacrifices that people made 100 years ago, and are still making today.”

Families of soldiers who do not want their grave cleaning should contact Charlie on 01274 871534,

l One man’s ultimate sacrifice – see Nostalgia page 30.

 

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