Volunteers to spruce up graveyard of VC hero

Published: 3 May 2013 11:300 comments

A WAR hero who had a price on his head by the German Gestapo is to have his grave restored by the Victoria Cross Trust.

Air Commodore Ferdinand West, whose grave is in Sunningdale.

The trust, along with members of No.8 squadron RAF Waddington, will be leading a community clean-up of the final resting place of Air Commodore Ferdinand Maurice Felix West.

Air Commodore West retired to Sunningdale and died in 1988, aged 92, and is buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard.

Volunteers will carry out a clean up of the churchyard on Tuesday, May 7, and rededicate the grave of the decorated RAF ace the following day.

Duane Ashworth, father of the most recently awarded VC holder, Lance Corporal James Ashworth of the Grenadier Guards, and patron of the Victoria Cross Trust, supports the work the Trust does in memory of Victoria Cross holders and will be on hand to help.

The trust-appointed mason and restorer will carry out a full restoration on the grave.

Volunteers from the Household Cavalry based at Combermere Barracks in Windsor, the RAF and the Army will be working alongside the community to pay their respects to those buried in Holy Trinity Church alongside Air Commodore West.

Victoria Cross Trust chairman Gary Stapleton said: "We are eternally grateful to those who see the continued memory of our military heroes as a priority, and who wish to help us preserve their final resting place in a state of utmost respect.

"We hope events like this will continue across the country and that more and more people get involved to support the work we do."

The Victoria Cross Trust exists to repair and preserve neglected graves of Victoria Cross holders, perpetuate their memory and ensure they are honoured.

Only the graves of the servicemen and women who have been awarded the military honour, who died on the battlefield during the First and Second World War, are looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, based in Maidenhead, otherwise it is the responsibility of the living relatives.

For more information visit www.victoriacrosstrust.org

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