Pelsall youngsters remember

Published: 6th November 2020


Green-minded young people in a West Midlands village have been tending war graves as part of a project to remember those who gave their lives in both World Wars.

St Michael’s Church in Pelsall is behind the initiative which has sought to embrace both conservation and environmental concerns.

It has seen a group of youngsters from St Michael’s take responsibility for the ongoing upkeep of five Commonwealth War graves, including weeding, removing tree debris and cleaning the monuments. The graves belong to soldiers who were all from the Pelsall area, one from the First World War One and four from the Second World War.

The young people, some of whom are working towards a Duke of Edinburgh Award, will lay small crosses this Remembrance weekend on each of the graves.

St Michael’s interim minister the Revd Alison Morris explained: “This task not only coincides with the 75th anniversary of the ending of WW2 but is integral to our desire by the church to work on conservation and environmental concerns. For the youngsters their aim is simply to show how we can care for God’s earth in this challenging time.

“St Michael’s sees our local community cemetery as a place of history and remembrance and as such is special to people far beyond the immediate church congregation. For us it is a place which represents a precious resource which makes a huge contribution to the historical life of our Pelsall village. Not only does it provide a place of tranquillity and a place to grieve for our families, but it also contains a wealth of local and family history. We also value its importance for nature conservation with diverse species of flora and fauna. It is upon this rich heritage of history and conservation on which we wish to build our understanding, our support and connections between the church, cemetery and the community in which we serve.”

The young people, supervised by the parish warden and a PCC member in a Covid-secure environment, began looking after the graves this summer, in partnership with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It is believed to be the only local scheme of its kind in the country.

“In turn this will reconnect our locality with the First World War and Second World War stories held within our cemetery. Pelsall cemetery holds the stories of the people who have lived in the past – people who have shaped our past which in turn impact upon our future. This is an opportunity through the project for members of the community to work together with the church to inspire others to remember them, to safeguard our history and our heritage associated with our village of Pelsall,” Alison said.

Page last updated: Friday 6th November 2020 4:42 PM
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