Cash windfall ensures Cradley's war dead will have lasting memorial

Halesowen News: War graves at St Peters Church, Cradley. War graves at St Peters Church, Cradley.

GENERATIONS of Cradley residents will be able to see the sacrifice the town's men made in wartime thanks to a £9,000 cash windfall.

Historic war graves at St Peter's Church graveyard will be the centrepiece of a seven acre nature trail which also will include a memorial orchard.

There are 13 war graves at St Peter's, 12 from both world wars and one which dates back to 1900 for a soldier who died in the Boer War.

Cradley and District Ex-Service Association, which was established in 1919 and predates the Royal British Legion, is spearheading the war graves restoration.

Norman Catton, from the association, said: "We are delighted the Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust gave us a £9,000 grant towards the restoration of the war graves and we can now get on with creating something which future generations can enjoy.

"We were refused Lottery funding which was disappointing so we are very thankful to Ibstock Cory for its grant which ensured the project will succeed.

"The nature trail and restored war graves will be a fitting memorial to those from Cradley who gave their lives for their country and future generations."

He added: "In 1919 61 lime trees were planted in St Peter's Church graveyard - one for every local man who gave his life for us in WW1 and our work creating this garden will compliment them.

"We are aiming to have it all done in time for the 100th anniversary of World War One on August 14 this year so we have a lot of work to do to get it finished."

The CDESA, which is working with St Peter's Church on the project, is appealing for volunteers to help the restoration of the graveyard and creation of the nature trail.

Mr Catton said: "We need the help of local people and would love local schools and organisations to help us as well because the restored war graves and nature trail will be a credit to Cradley."

The Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust (ICET) was established in February 2001, in conjunction with Ibstock Brick Limited and Cory Environmental Limited and supports environmental projects and the restoration of historic buildings.

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