Friends of Loxley Cemetery join Loxley Primary School for special remembrance day event honoring local war heroes
The Friends of Loxley Cemetery joined together with Loxley Primary School to honour local war heroes in their first ever event.
The Remembrance Day gathering was the Friends of Loxley Cemetery’s (FoLC) first ever event since it formed two years ago to rejuvenate a long-lost part of Loxley, cherished by many in the community.
The FoLC said: “There is such value in connecting children with their local environment and local history. You could see the ‘learning in action’ in their faces, their questions and a growing awareness whilst engaging in the cemetery, bringing their learning to life.
“Hopefully, with the involvement of the Friends of Loxley Cemetery committee and the contribution of Rev. Dan Brown of Wadsley Church who gave a moving address at the cemetery; everyone helped create some tangible memories for the children as part of their learning experience.”
The event – which saw FoLC and the school join together at the cemetery to pay respects – stemmed from a chance meeting last year when a member of the FoLC committee met a pupil and their family at the cemetery on Remembrance Sunday.
A year after the chance meeting, on Thursday, November 11, year five pupils were invited to visit the cemetery – which has several war graves – to carry out a history project researching local service men and women with their teacher Dan Eaton.
The Friends helped the children find the graves of those they were learning about and lay wreaths created by the children with biographies and British Legion crosses provided by the FoLC.
Mr Eaton said: “The pupils really appreciated the visit and the FoLC committee’s time in helping them to find ‘their’ men and women that they had been researching. They were really enthused when we got back to school, and I suspect, could have spent quite a long time asking questions of you all.”
Of Rev Dan Brown, Mr Eaton said: “It was great to have the prayers and reflections, particularly to emphasise the need for peace and the children’s role in it.”
Mike Ford, chair of FoLC, said: “With our work and committee aims for the cemetery a joint event like this is so beneficial to all involved. We would be delighted for it to become an annual event. We take momentum from Loxley Primary School’s visit as it shows us that we, the FoLC, are beginning to make a difference.”
History of Loxley Cemetery
Loxley Church (originally Loxley Congregational Chapel) and Cemetery date back to the late 18th century when worshippers raised £1,000 to build it.
The cemetery is still open for burials in existing plots, although no further plots are being sold.
The church closed in 1993 with the building gradually deteriorating into a ruinous state over the years.
The churchyard which surrounds the church on three sides had become seriously overgrown but the FoLC is working hard to restore it and has cleared parts of the cemetery and enabled access to graves not seen for more than two decades.