A £100,000 fund will help restorate the UK graves of First World War Victoria Cross heroes, including those buried in Cornwall.
The project announced by communities secretary Eric Pickles aims to restore all those UK graves in need of repair. Headstones will be cleaned or replaced so that "the final resting place of those who received the highest military award for valour is a truly fitting tribute to their sacrifice".
This new funding will give a significant boost to funds already being raised by the Victoria Cross Trust – a charitable organisation that works to ensure the graves of every Victoria Cross recipient are maintained.
While some graves only require minor work, others have fallen into disrepair - headstones have become illegible; stones have crumbled away leaving them unstable; and some are in danger of collapse. As a result many people are unaware that a Victoria Cross recipient is buried in their community.
Eric Pickles said: “An entire generation of men fought for Britain’s freedom in the First World War and all fought valiantly. But for hundreds of those men their bravery was of such an exceptional nature they were bestowed with the highest military award, the Victoria Cross.
“As these men were honoured then for their extreme bravery on the battlefields, they should be honoured still. That is why I am privileged to offer more than £100,000 towards this project to ensure that their final resting places are venerated memorials where communities can pay their respects and learn about their local heroes.
“This will make sure the graves of our Victoria Cross heroes become places to reflect on their selfless service to the nation. Alongside the creation of commemorative paving stones we will create a fitting tribute to honour these heroes.”
The fund will help repair the graves of PO Ernest Pitcher (HMS Dunraven) born Mullion, Cornwall and buried at Northbrook Cemetery, Swanage. As well as Midshipman Wilfred Malleson (HMS Cornwallis) born India, buried at Penmount Crematorium, Truro, and Sgt Horace Curtis (The Royal Dublin Fusiliers) born St Anthony-in-Roseland, and buried at Penmount, Truro.
Last year the Communities Secretary announced a national campaign of commemorative paving stones to be laid in the place of birth of First World War Victoria Cross winners across the country so that communities will have a permanent memorial of their local heroes.
The design of the stone was decided by a national competition and the winning entry was unveiled by the Secretary of State and recipient of the Victoria Cross, Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry, in November 2013.
VC recipient graves in the SW: T/Lt Col Daniel Burges (The Gloucestershire Regiment) born Bloomsbury, London buried at Arnos Vale, Bristol T/Capt Manley James (The Gloucestershire Regiment) born Odiham, Hampshire, buried at Canford Cemetery, Bristol A/L Cpl Frederick Room (The Royal Irish Regiment) born Bristol, buried at Greenbank Cemetery, Bristol Cpl Harry Wood (Scots Guards) born Pocklington, Yorkshire, buried at Arnos Vale, Bristol Sgt Horace Curtis (The Royal Dublin Fusiliers) born St Anthony-in-Roseland, buried at Penmount, Truro Midshipman Wilfred Malleson (HMS Cornwallis) born India, buried at Penmount Crematorium, Truro T/Lt Robert Phillips (Royal Warwickshire Regiment) born West Bromich, West Midlands, buried at St Cyrus and St Julietta, St Veep T/2Lt Arthur Fleming-Sandes (The East Surrey Regiment) born Tulse Hill, London, buried at Torquay Crematorium T/Lt Col Charles Hudson (The Sherwood Foresters) born Derby, buried at St Mary’s, Denbury Pte James Hutchinson (The Lancashire Fusiliers) born Radcliffe, Lancashire, buried at Torquay Crematorium 2Lt James Johnson (The Northumberland Fusiliers) born Widdrington, Northumberland, buried at Efford Crematorium, Plymouth 2Lt Edgar Myles, (The Welsh Regiment) born Wanstead, Essex buried at Torquay Crematorium Pte Thomas Sage, (Prince Albert’s Somerset Light Infantry) born Tiverton buried at Tiverton Cemetery A/Capt Alfred Toye (The Duke of Cambridge’s Own Middlesex Regiment) born Aldershot, Hampshire, buried at Tiverton Cemetery CSM Frederick Barter (The Royal Welsh Fusiliers) born Cardiff, buried at Bournemouth Crematorium Lt Victor Crutchley (HMS Vindictive) born Lennox Gardens, London, buried at St Mary’s, Powerstock Cpl Joseph Davies (The Royal Welsh Fusiliers) born Tipton, West Midlands, buried at Bournemouth Crematorium LSgt Frederick McNess (Scots Guards) born Leeds, buried at Bournemouth Crematorium Rev Edward Mellish (Army Chaplain’s Department) born Barnet, London buried at Weymouth Crematorium PO Ernest Pitcher (HMS Dunraven) born Mullion, Cornwall buried at Northbrook Cemetery, Swanage 2Lt Alfred Pollard (Honourable Artillery Company) born Wallington, Surrey, buried at Bournemouth Crematorium 2Lt William Rhodes-Moorhouse (Army Co-operation Squadron Royal Flying Corps) born Knightsbridge, London buried at Parnham House, Dorset LCpl James Welch (The Royal Berkshire Regiment) born Stratfield Saye, Hampshire, buried at North Cemetery, Bournemouth T/Cpt Angus Buchanan (The South Wales Borderers) born Coleford, Gloucestershire, buried at Coleford Cemetery T/Lt Col John Campbell (Coldstream Guards) born London, buried at Cheltenham Crematorium A/Capt Alfred Carpenter (HMS Vindictive) born Barnes, London buried at Gloucester Crematorium A/Lt Col James Forbes-Robertson (The Border Regiment) born Brighouse, Yorkshire, buried at Cheltenham Cemetery L Cpl William Hewitt (South African Light Infantry) born Copdock, Suffolk, buried at Cheltenham Cemetery Pte Francis Miles (The Gloucestershire Regiment) born Clearwell, Gloucestershire, buried at St Peter’s, Clearwell Capt Richard Willis (The Lancashire Fusiliers) born Woking, Surrey, buried at Cheltenham Crematorium Lt Arthur Batten-Pooll (The Royal Munster Fusiliers) born London, buried in St Lawrence’s, Woolverton, Somerset L Cpl Wilfred Fuller (Grenadier Guards) born East Kirkby, Nottinghamshire, buried Christchurch churchyard, Frome Sgt William Gosling (Royal Field Artillery) born Wanborough, Wiltshire, buried at St John and St Helen’s, Wroughton, Wiltshire VC recipients born in the SW buried outside the region: Lt Sgt Oliver Brooks (Coldstream Guards) born Midsomer Norton buried in Windsor Borough Cemetery, Berkshire Pte Jack Counter (The King’s Liverpool Regiment) born Blandford Forum, buried at St Saviour’s, St Helier, Jersey T/2Lt Tom Adlam (The Bedfordshire Regiment), born Salisbury, Wiltshire, buried at St Matthew’s, Blackmoor, Hampshire A/Lt Col Dudley Johnson (South Wales Borderers) born Bourton-on-the Water, Gloucestershire, buried at Christ Church, Church Crookham, Hampshire Lt Richard Sandford (HM Submarine C3) born Exmouth or Exeter, buried at Eston Cemetery, Yorkshire A/Cpl John Collins (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) born West Hatch or Bickenhall, Somerset, buried at Pant Cemetery, Merthyr Tydfil