Written by LAURA HAMMOND
BURTON’S MP has welcomed the announcement of a Government fund which will see improvements made to Victoria Cross heroes such as the Winshill’s William Coltman.
Andrew Griffiths said the £100,000 grant to the Victoria Cross Trust would allow these soldiers to be remembered ‘properly and with respect’.
The money has been approved by Eric Pickles, secretary of state for local government following a campaign run by The Sun newspaper.
“It’s wonderful news because it means more of the graves or Victoria Cross (VC) heroes will be restored in the same way that we saw William Coltman’s grave restored in Winshill.
“The success of the campaign to restore his grave shows not only how well loved Mr Coltman was locally, but also how much people value the sacrifices made by our VC heroes and how much they want to say that properly and with respect,”Mr Griffiths said.
The Victoria Cross Trust is aiming to restore the final resting places of all recipients who died as civilians – meaning their plots are not officially maintained and may have fallen into disrepair.
Lance Corporal William Coltman’s grave, at St Mark’s Church in Winshill, was improved following a campaign by the Victoria Cross Trust, which was backed by the Mail’s Honour our Heroes campaign.
This new funding could also see the restoration of a memorial to Frank Roberts, at St Wystan’s Church in Bretby, and Gresley-born William Beesley, who is buried in Monmouthshire.
Mr Griffiths said: “It’s a national disgrace that the graves of some of the bravest servicemen the country has ever seen are derelict and overgrown. It’s fantastic that the Government has awarded this huge sum of money in order to put that right.”