The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) will be bringing War Graves Week to Harrogate and offering free tours at Stonefall Cemetery on Saturday 20th and Thursday 25th of May.
War Graves Week is an initiative aimed at encouraging people from the local community to come together and discover the World War heritage on their doorstep – learning about the stories of those commemorated by the CWGC in Harrogate and the skills, dedication and expertise of those CWGC staff and volunteers who work to keep their memory alive.
The free guided tours will take place on Saturday 20th and Thursday 25th of May at 1100 and 1330 at Stonefall Cemetery and will give people in Harrogate the chance to discover the remarkable stories of the men and women of the Commonwealth forces that died in the First and Second World Wars who are buried in their community.
More than one thousand casualties from both World Wars are buried at Stonefall Cemetery. Whilst the majority of these casualties are Second World War airmen from Canada, there are local casualties buried at the site too. These include Private Leslie Boddy who was a member of Starbeck Methodist Church. He was 18 years old and had been serving with the Machine Gun Corps for only a few weeks when he died from influenza at a training camp in November 1918.
The tours will be led by CWGC volunteer tour guides.
Director General of the CWGC, Claire Horton, said:
Behind every name on a war grave or memorial in Harrogate is a human story waiting to be discovered and War Graves Week is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
As world leaders in commemoration, our mission is to ensure those who died in service, or as a result of conflict, are commemorated so that they, and the human cost of war, are remembered forever.
The CWGC is encouraging the people of Harrogate to seek out the stories in their local area and book onto a free tour this War Graves Week. To book a tour, visit www.cwgc.org/wargravesweek