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First World War graves are rebuilt

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

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A campaign to renew three dilapidated war graves ended with a rededication service on Saturday.

St Mary's Church in Wedmore was filled with residents and representatives of the armed services from Britain and Canada, as well as descendants of the young servicemen who had lost their lives.

The graves in the graveyard being rededicated belong to 2nd Lieutenant Victor Bracey, Royal Flying Corps, Private William Cottrell, 44th Canadian Infantry and Sergeant Joseph Wilkinson, Army Service Corps, all of whom died during the First World War.

After a short church service, the congregation paid their respects at each grave. A local child read a biography of each serviceman and wreaths were laid on the grave by members of the armed forces representing the regiment of the First World War servicemen.

Wedmore resident and military writer Tim Moreman was instrumental in raising the £2,250 necessary to rebuild the graves. Mr Moreman said: "Last Remembrance Sunday my daughter was given a poppy with the name of a soldier from the parish who had lost his life on it and she asked me who it was.

"I wanted to be able to give her a full answer so decided to do some research. In the course of my investigations I found that some of the graves of the servicemen were in considerable need of restoration."

Mr Moreman found that unfortunately the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was not able to help to pay for the renovation of the graves in Wedmore Churchyard because they were private memorials, paid for and built by the families of the dead servicemen, so he decided to set up the Wedmore War Graves appeal.

Once the appeal was launched, donations were received from mid-Somerset people as well as from across the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Germany, the Czech Republic and India.

Specialist renovation company Wells Cathedral Stonemasons carried out the work.

For more information visit the wedmorewargraves.co.uk website.

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