Friends will always defend Wardsend

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The front page item on the Victoria Cross heroes was an excellent reminder that we should all be aware of the debt we owe the three VC holders and all those men and women who served in all campaigns the British nation fought.

An explanation of the crack in the headstone of George Lambert will help clear up misunderstandings.

We discovered in June/July 2000 that vandals had broken George’s headstone in two, a sad reflection on the lack of respect from certain elements.

Through the Hillsborough Community Development trust we were able to get a landfill tax grant of £3,000 to repair 12 graves, George’s included.

A qualified stonemason carried out the work and the headstone was pinned and cemented back together, laid flat again for its protection. The stone is, as Ron Clayton says, in reasonable condition with the lettering clear and readable after 142 years.

Wardsend has over 160 service burials and memorial reminders of those who died in service.

As a group we respect all of them and will continue to look after them. We are willing to work with the council, Victoria Cross Trust or any other group.

We have one stone in much worse condition due to corporate vandalism.

When the railway passing though the cemetery was upgraded to double track the company carved through the cemetery leaving one stone cut in half. Only one half remains.

I judge that Ron is referring to the upkeep of the cemetery in maintenance and not that the cemetery is a lost cause. I accept that in these cash-strapped times, cemeteries still open would need more spent on maintenance than Wardsend, a closed cemetery. Minimum maintenance should take place if only for health and safety .

We as a group would never regard the cemetery as a lost cause and would reassure those with relatives buried there that we will continue to work for the benefit of Wardsend.

George Proctor, S6 2BT; www.friendsofwardsendcemetery.btck.co.uk; wardsend@gmail.com