A 16 year old boy dies from his wounds - young people are blown away as they clean war graves in Soham
- Credit: Archant
A group of young people have cleaned war graves in Soham cemetery to tie in with Armed Forces Day.
Six police cadets and nine brownies and guides spent an afternoon bringing the graves back to their former glory in a clean up organised by the Soham British Legion.
One of the graves stopped the youngsters in their tracks when they noticed a boy the same age as them who was only 16 when he died of his wounds
Glenn Woodbridge, chairman of the RBL, said: “It made them stop in their track so tsee such a young man die in battle, it seems unthinkable to them in this day and age.
“They braved the rain and washed off all the grime and algae to make them look new.
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“They all worked very hard and we at the Soham British Legion are very proud of their effort.
“Once they were cleaned poppy wreaths were laid. Members of the public stopped and congratulated them for doing such a great job and taking such care.”
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Mr Woodbridge added: “Each group are going to take away the names on the graves and research them so that they see them as a person and not just a headstone.”
They cleaned 12 graves in total with the other 13 graves being cleaned by USAFE Mildenhall earlier in the day to cover for the Scouts and ACF who were away on camps.
The clean up ties in with 100 years of the Battle of the Somme.
The next events include:
• A 100 whistle blowing and laying of a special Somme wreath at 7.30am on Friday July 1 at the memorial in Soham. This was the time the first soldiers went over the top at the bloodiest battle in England’s commonwealth warfare.
• Soham remembers the Somme and unveiling of the plaque at 2pm on Saturday July 2 at the Recreation Ground Soham along with stalls and memorabilia from the Great War.
• On Saturday July 9 at 2.40pm there is a laying of a cross as a grave marker for Australian Lancaster bomber pilot Frederick Stevenson.