Residents volunteer in gravestone cleaning project to preserve the memory of World War victims

Vane Hill residents volunteer at a Torquay cemetery last week (28th November.) They were out in force as part of a new ‘Eyes On, Hands-On’ project run by The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC.)

The project ‘seeks to build a nationwide army of people who can help CWGC to ensure the war dead buried in the UK are never forgotten.’

It gets local people involved in helping to maintain the thousands of War graves; in local churchyards and cemeteries across the UK.

Our wonderful Vane Hill volunteers were introduced to Andy Tysoe, CWGC Volunteer Co-ordinator for the South-West and other members of the CWGC. They were taught how to identify Commonwealth war graves and check their condition.

Then, taking a scrubbing brush and water, they began cleaning the headstones and reporting if any were damaged.

Speaking to BBC Radio Devon, Steve Todd, a Veteran himself and Vane Hill Manager said,

It is an activity, but one with an emotion attached to it. Which you can see they are all feeling when they are cleaning the graves.

We’ve got Military crosses here, and people that have been awarded these. Their families aren’t here anymore, so we are going to act as their families.