The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF) warmly invites members of the public to visit Stonefall Cemetery, Harrogate for the fifth annual Candlelit Christmas Remembrance on Sunday 17th December at 3.30pm.
At the event, members of the public will be provided with battery-operated tealights to place on the graves of the fallen which will be followed by a short service of Remembrance.
The Candlelit Christmas Remembrance was the inspiration of local woman Benji Walker who had seen images of CWGC cemeteries in Europe lit by candlelight.
I feel it’s as important today as it was at the time to recognise the sacrifice of those who gave everything to serve this country.
The Candlelit Christmas Remembrance is a chance for the local community to gather to remember the sacrifice of the hundreds of CWGC casualties buried at Stonefall, many of them thousands of miles from home.
Benji Walker, who has a son serving in the Yorkshire Regiment, will be using the event to raise money for the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation and Help for Heroes.
With over 1,000 Commonwealth war graves, Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery is one of the largest CWGC sites in the North of England.
The majority of burials are airmen who died during the Second World War when bomber command bases were established across Yorkshire. Over 600 of the casualties served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and include two seventeen-year-olds.
CWGC Public Engagement Coordinator, Elizabeth Smith, said:
This wonderful Candlelit event has become an annual fixture and it allows people to connect with their history whilst remembering those who fought and died in both world wars.
The plot of war graves at Stonefall is unique in Yorkshire because of its resemblance to sites in France and Belgium. At the end of the Second World War local people were encouraged to adopt the war graves from overseas and lay wreaths on behalf of their families at Christmas.
So, because of that connection, it’s a special time of year and we warmly invite everyone to come along.
The Candlelit Christmas Remembrance allows local people to reconnect with their history and pay their respects to the fallen.
Those wishing to attend the service are advised to dress warmly, wear solid shoes and bring torches.
The meeting point is the war graves plot adjacent to Forest Lane.
Parking is available in the cemetery car park off Forest Lane.