Awards for team who look after graves of fallen heroes
A team of volunteers working across the Isle of Wight have been given an award by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) for their outstanding work.
The team of six were each given a prestigious Spotlight Award and individually received a letter congratulating and thanking them from CWGC’s director general, Claire Horton.
The volunteers are Karen Wilkinson, Bernard Wood, David Tisdale, Gary Newman, Jay Bartlett and Gary Butler.
They look after graves in different areas across the island.
Several are veterans themselves, or have parents or spouses who served in the armed forces.
Karen said: “My paternal grandad was killed in action in Burma, now Myanmar, and his grave is there.
"When I contacted the CWGC many years ago they very kindly sent me a lovely photo of his headstone. Everything was so pristine and cared for.
"I wanted to do something that could at some point make a family member in the same position feel how I did, that our war dead have never been forgotten.”
Bernard said “I was very pleased to receive a Spotlight Award as recognition of the volunteer work I carry out, which is sometimes very hard work.
"Being part of a team of volunteers on the Isle of Wight is special to me as currently we have all the war graves on the Island covered.”
David, who served in the Royal Air Force for 25 years, said “I feel humbled when I visit the graves of the fallen in our churchyards and graveyards here on the Isle of Wight.
"Offering a little of my time for those who gave their lives for us and who now lie in dispersed locations around the island is an honour.”
Find out more about the CWGC and the work it does at www.cwgc.org