Service remembers Private Arthur Papworth from Chatteris 100 years after his death and the town prepares to commemorate 100th anniversary of the death WWWI hero Private George Clare who earned the Victoria Cross for his bravery
PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 April 2017
The clear-up at Meeks’ cemetery in the town was carried out by the RBL Youth section and First Chatteris Guides, who are now affiliated, ahead of an Every Man Remembered ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Private Arthur Papworth.
Arthur, who died on March 26 1917, was one of the oldest men from the town to join up at the outbreak of war.
He was a reservist in the Suffolk Regiment and served in France and Flanders until June 1916 when he was invalided home. He died after an illness, most probably linked to his time serving at the front.
The whole area around Arthur’s grave was over-grown and there is currently no official headstone to mark the plot, but the group were undeterred and spent several hours clearing the ground of weeds and grass and marking out where the grave should lie.
The RBL Youth are always looking for new members. Anyone aged between 12-17 and hasan interest in supporting the RBL, whether it is by helping with fundraising, representing the town at events or helping with community projects is welcome to join. There is no need to have any military background. Contact Becky Cooper: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07796215149.
On Tuesday there will be an Every Man Remembered service for Charles Henry Barber, then there are services on: Sunday April 9 for Charles Henry Bull, Monday April 10 for Ernest Belshaw Saunders, Saturday April 15 for Ernest Skeels, Thursday April 20 for Vere Francis, and Wednesday April 26 for Arthur John Savage and Frederick Rose (Military Medal).
All services are held to commemorate Chatteris men that fought and died in WW1 on the 100th anniversary of their death. Everyone is welcome to the RBL at the war memorial at 11am, family members are especially welcome.
Meanwhile meetings have begun in order to plan and prepare for the commemorations of George Clare VC (Victoria Cross) later this year.
Private Clare was killed in actions on the November 28/29 1917 and was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be presented to British and Commonwealth forces.
Members of the RBL, town council, museum, library and Chatteris Remembers are collectively working to mark the death of Private Clare with a number of events.
These include formal commemorations with an Every Man Remembered service and parade, the unveiling of a blue plaque in Clare Street and an official VC paving stone from the government for the war memorial. Other projects include WWI re-enactments with the RBL Youth members and a return of the Royal Anglian Band for a concert. An official publication about the life of George Clare is also being produced.