City remembers with tour of Commonwealth graves

The spotlight will be on Preston's Commonwealth war graves as part of Remembrance Day commemorations this weekend.

Wednesday, 9th November 2016, 5:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:01 pm
Brockholes Wood Community School pay tribute to World War One soldiers with their new art work

There will be a free guided tour of military graves at the cemetery on Miller Road from noon and from 2pm on Saturday.

In between folk and storytelling trio Harp and a Monkey will give a special performance at 1 pm as part of the “141 Days of The Somme” event.

Band singer and raconteur Martin Purdy, is a former student of the University of Central Lancashire, a WW1 historian, author and broadcaster. He said: “We have been playing in unusual places around the country with links to the conflict, from a prison that housed conscientious objectors to a railway carriage that brought home the body of the Unknown Soldier.

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Harp and a Monkey

“This is, however, the first time that we have played in a cemetery – although it makes perfect sense. We always think of those rows of white Commonwealth War Graves’ headstones on foreign shores, but don’t give too much thought to the ones housed in our own communities.”

Coun John Swindells, deputy leader of Preston City Council, added: “We have 324 First World War graves and it is important to us that these men’s stories are not forgotten. This is the first time that we have tried an event of this nature.”

Meanwhile pupils from Brockholes Wood School will also be contributing to the event with a special art work created after they visited the Commonwealth graves and those of conscientious objector Joseph Garstang and Victoria Cross winner William Young.

Pupils of Brockholes Wood School with grave rubbings taken as part of the 141 Days of The Somme remembrance project
Harp and a Monkey
Pupils of Brockholes Wood School with grave rubbings taken as part of the 141 Days of The Somme remembrance project