A team of volunteers at Crewe Cemetery have been given an award by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) for their outstanding work.
The team of five were each given a prestigious Spotlight Award and received a letter congratulating and thanking them from CWGC’s Director General, Claire Horton.
The volunteers, all residents of Crewe or Sandbach, are Darren Hough, Darren Tarrant, Peter Gaskell, Peter Andjelkovic and Andy Baston.
They each look after a different area of the cemetery and get together to clean the war grave headstones.
Mr Baston said he was delighted the team has been given a Spotlight Award.
Mr Baston said:As ex-military, I am very conscious of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and this is my way of recognising and remembering those in the local community.
I have researched many casualties that I look after and it is very striking to see how young these servicemen and women were. War must also have affected the mental health of many, in times when very little was known about the effects of war.
It means a lot to me to receive the award,” he said. “It is a privilege to clean, inspect and research the war graves.
Mr Baston joined the CWGC as a volunteer after learning about his own family, some of whom are commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Helles Memorial (Gallipoli) and the Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery near Ypres.
Fellow volunteer Mr Tarrant said he joined the CWGC as a volunteer after seeing his great uncle’s grave in Brunssum in the Netherlands, and was impressed at how well cared for his grave was at the cemetery. His great uncle was killed whilst transporting US anti-tank mines on the Dutch German border in 1944.
The letter issued to Spotlight Award winners from CWGC’s Director General, Claire Horton, said:I’m enormously grateful for your contribution and the valuable work that you do to support us in honouring and caring for the men and women of the Commonwealth forces who are in our care, and you should be proud to know that your work as a volunteer has made a very real difference to the way in which we are able to care for these men and women here in Great Britain.”
Find out more about the CWGC and the work it does at www.cwgc.org