The Last Post is to echo across the graves of 40 wartime servicemen buried in Cannock town cemetery.

For the first time in almost 75 years

The Last Post is to echo across the graves of 40 wartime servicemen buried in Cannock town cemetery.

As the bugle-call sounds a representative of the Staffordshire Regiment Association Hednesford Branch and Cannock Chase (573) Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association will come to attention beside each grave.

The ceremony, thought to be the first of its kind in the country, is planned as an opening commitment to a long-term programme of local care for military graves.

Work on many of the graves has been undertaken in preparation for planting of bulbs as a living tribute.

Trevor Evans, parade marshal for the Staffords, said: “A British Legion poppy cross will be planted on each grave.

“Our future plans are to augment the work of the War Graves Commission with regular maintenance visits.

“We would like, eventually, to plant a Remembrance Roses in each plot.  The cost is such that we would need help from the local community to do this.

“Care is being taken not to disturb any family plots or those that are obviously already being cared for,” he added.

Trevor hopes that the initiative will be taken up in surrounding communities.

There are 28 Army, six RAF, one RAAF and one Royal Navy graves in the cemetery.  The youngest WW1 casualty is 17-year-old Grenadier Guardsman G Gosling. The youngest WW2 burial is that

of 19-year-old air gunner/wireless operator Sgt Francis Martin, killed when his Manchester bomber collided with a Hawker Hurricane while on a training flight.

The ceremony will be held at 2.15pm on Remembrance Sunday, November 12th.

It is hoped that relatives of the dead who wish to take part will get in touch with the organisers.   Contact: trevoroldstafford@gmail.com or, for RAF personnel, lawrencemcgowan13@gmail.com.

 

 

Cannock Chase Radio News Desk