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Memorials for First World War soldiers in Wisbech cemetery

Wisbech General Cemetery WW1 Grave bid, LtoR, Bob Ollier, Andre Newman, Sue Beel ANL-140728-142422009

Wisbech General Cemetery WW1 Grave bid, LtoR, Bob Ollier, Andre Newman, Sue Beel ANL-140728-142422009

The sacrifice made by First World War soldiers lying in a Wisbech cemetery is to be honoured in a new scheme nearly a century after they died for their country.

Ten soldiers are buried in Wisbech General Cemetery and eight of them are in unmarked graves.

But now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Fenland District Council are looking to install individual headstones on each grave.

Next Monday marks the 100th anniversary of Britain declaring war on Germany.

The work at the Wisbech cemetery would not be possible without research undertaken by volunteer Andre Newman.

Over the last few months he has been ploughing through records to find the servicemen who died on home soil.

Mr Newman, who grew up in Wisbech but now lives in Peterborough, said: “When you think of the harrowing situations that they must have been through, the least I can do is ensure that they have a proper memorial.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed this and it has been very rewarding.”

First World War soldiers who are buried in marked graves in the cemetery are: J T Canham and H Wilkinson.

Those in unmarked graves are: W E Cawthorn, G Cook, C W Hill, S J Johnson, P Kitchen, S Knowles, E R Worlding and G E Plitsch.

Mr Newman said: “The Plitsch family had a difficult time. In September 1918 their 20 month old daughter died, in February 1919 their eight year old daughter died, in May 1919 their nine month old son died and in July 1919 their father passed away.”

He has been supported by Wisbech Society and the Friends of Wisbech Cemetery.

The idea to put individual headstones on each grave came out of discussions between the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the council.

A council spokesman said: “Over the past few months we have worked with Mr Newman and the Friends to put together all the necessary information.

We are looking to meet with the Commission some time in August or September to take this exciting project forward.”

The council is offering £5,000 for cleaning and repairing war memorials as part of the 100th anniversary commemorations.

 

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