A project to ensure First World War veterans’ graves are properly marked has been given a boost by young volunteers.
Twelve young people from Accrington and Rossendale are currently on a 12-week Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Prince’s Trust Team programme working in Bacup Cemetery.
The three-week community project has seen the team using maps to locate the hidden graves, digging out the marker stones and then preparing the ground for a new memorial stone to be laid.
These have all been specially made by Chislestone Memorials. Leyla Britton, 17, from Accrington, said: “It is a nice thing to do because if it wasn’t for these soldiers then we wouldn’t be here.”
John Haselden, team leader, said: “They had three possible tasks for their community project and they all selected the charity Veterans In Communities and their project Operation War Graves 100.
“As a veteran myself, I am very proud that this is the project my team selected, although I did not influence their decision.“They have all worked hard and kept focused.”
John served for 10 years in Afghanistan and Iraq with the Royal Artillery before being medically discharged nine months ago.
Help for Heroes helped him secure his temporary job with the Prince’s Trust.
Many of the young people on the programme are NEETs – Not in Education Employment or Training, some have learning difficulties and some have found school difficult.
The youngsters want to show people that they do respect others and cared for the sacrifice made by First World War soldiers.
In November a special Remembrance service will be held at the cemetery and the team said they would attend.
Originally, it was hoped the team could locate and properly mark 10 graves, but now that number is likely to be nearer 50.
For more information on the Prince’s Trust, call 01772 866898.