Restoration campaign thrills family

David Garnham, Peter Earl and Alan Watson with the plaque of the grave of Arnold Loosemore VC last year
David Garnham, Peter Earl and Alan Watson with the plaque of the grave of Arnold Loosemore VC last year
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Friends Graham White and David Garnham led a campaign to make improvements to Arnold and Amy’s shared grave and sponsored the restoration of a plaque to him on Loosemore Drive – after the original was vandalised and stolen in the 1980s – to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I.

They also arranged for oak trees to be planted for Arnold and other World war I veterans buried at the same church on Remembrance Day.

As a thank you for their efforts, they were invited to the Town Hall along with members of Arnold’s family to meet with Lord Mayor Peter Rippon this week.

Arnold’s grandson Kevin, 60, who lives in Millhouses, said he was thrilled more is being done to remember the life of his grandfather.

“It is fantastic. It is just so sad the city didn’t remember him for his deeds for so long,” he said. “My dad, Arnold Jr, was bitter about what had happened without really telling me about it until he got older.

“When my grandfather was awarded the Victoria Cross he was only 21 and holders normally went home and they didn’t have to go back to fight.

“My granddad wouldn’t do that. He had got six brothers who were out there fighting and his friends. He went back to fight and was wounded.

“Because when my gran married him she knew he was wounded there was no pension for her when he died. They had the big funeral for him and they sent the bill to my grandmother. She had no pension and it was with great difficulty she fed the family.

“When he came back everybody was so proud of him that the high and mighty of Sheffield had a whip round to raise money for him as a thank you and the money was invested for the family.

“But that suddenly disappeared and the payments to the family stopped. That was never talked about.”

He said he was grateful to people like Mr White and Mr Garnham for their efforts in raising awareness of what his grandfather and grandmother went through.

Mr White said: “It is an amazing story of an amazing man. He was an extraordinary person.”