Doncaster’s Victoria Cross Trust given £100,000 to spruce up heroes’ graves

The grave of Lance Corporal Thomas Bryan VC at Arksey Cemetery
The grave of Lance Corporal Thomas Bryan VC at Arksey Cemetery

Crumbling graves of war heroes across Britain are to be restored after the Government pledged £100,000 to help a Doncaster based military organisation.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said he was ‘privileged’ to offer the money, which will be used by the Doncaster-based Victoria Cross Trust to restore gravestones of the nation’s VC holders.

It includes 16 graves in Yorkshire and the Humber as well as those of another 10 soldiers born in the county but buried elsewhere.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has said it will match any money donated to the trust.

Gary Stapleton founder of the VCT, said it was a special day for everyone involved.

“It is amazing that the Government has recognised the work we do and have blessed us with this money.

“It’s a massive help to us to transform the graves in this special year, the anniversary of World War One.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for everyone to get behind us and donate.”

While some will need minor repair, others have crumbled away and some are near to collapse.

The grave of Lance Corporal Thomas Bryan, who is buried in Arksey Cemetery, is among those earmarked for cash.

Mr Pickles said: “An entire generation of men fought for Britain’s freedom in the First World War and all fought valiantly. But for hundreds of those men their bravery was of such an exceptional nature they were bestowed with the highest military award, the Victoria Cross. “As these men were honoured then for their extreme bravery on the battlefields, they should be honoured still.”