The Victoria Cross Trust is a proud partner in the Positive Pathways Programme funded through the Armed Forces Covenant. By supporting veterans and developing a sense of well being and satisfaction in delivering our charitable aims, the VCT has reported to the AFCF the successful achievement of its goals in October 2021. Cleaning VC graves, developing events and increasing our network of volunteers have seen some remarkable results since our Maintaining the Memories project commenced in April 2021.
Over 20 VC graves cleaned and 50+ inspected since April this year by our ever expanding team of veteran volunteers.
We have had numerous contacts with veterans and veteran groups wishing to assist us in this work with the recent visit to Brookwood cemetery saw veterans travel over 100 miles to support the team. Graves cleaned include:
MARTIN-LEAKE. Arthur. VC. & Bar. High Cross, Ware. 23 April 2021.
South African Constabulary/RAMC.
CRISP. Thomas. VC. DSC. Lowestoft. (FM.) 30 May 2021.
Royal Naval Reserve
COBBE. Alexander. VC. GCB. KCSI. DSO. Shambrook, Beds. 22/23 June 2021.
Indian Army and Kings African Rifles.
WILKINSON. Thomas. VC. . York Cemetery. (FM ) 9 July 2021.
Royal Naval Artillery
SHERBROOKE. Robert. VC. CB.DSO. DL. Oxton, Notts. 23 June 2021
BUTLER. William. VC. Croix de Guerre. Hunslet, Leeds. 2 July 2021.
17th Bn. West Yorkshire Regt.
CUBBITT. William. VC. DSO. Frimley, Surrey. 4 August 2021.
13th Native Bengal Infantry.
MELLISS. Charles. VC. KCB. KCMG. Frimley, Surrey. 4 August 2021.
Indian Staff Corps, WAFF.
MUIR. Kenneth. VC. Frimley, Surrey.(FM) 4 August 2021.
1st Bn. Argyll &Sutherland Highlanders.
WILSON. Arthur. VC. GCB. OM. GCVO. Swaffham, Norfolk. 18 August 2021.
Royal Navy (Naval Brigade).
ADDISON. William.VC. Brookwood, Surrey. 27 Sept /1 Oc 21
Royal Army Chaplains Dept.
FRISBY. Cyril. VC. Brookwood, Surrey. (GT) 27 Sep /1 Oc 21
1st Bn. Coldstream Guards.
HARTLEY Edmund. VC. CMG. Brookwood, Surrey. 27 Sept /1 Oct 21
Cape Mounted Riflemen, SAF.
HOLLOWELL. James. VC. Brookwood, Surrey. 27 Sept /1 Oct 21
78th Regiment (Seaforth Highlanders)
KENNY. William. VC. Brookwood, Surrey. 27 Sept /1 Oct 21
The Gordon Highlanders.
MANGLES. Ross. VC. Brookwood, Surrey. (FM) 27 Sept /1 Oct 21
Bengal Civil Service.
MEIKLEJOHN. Matthew. VC. Brookwood, Surrey. 27 Sept /1 Oct 21
The Gordon Highlanders.
REYNOLDS. William. VC. Brookwood, Surrey. 27 Sept /1 Oct 21
SHERWOOD-KELLY. John. VC.CMG. DSO. Brookwood, Surrey. 27 Sept /1 Oct 21
The Norfolk Regiment.
WRIGHT. Wallace. VC.CB. CMG. DSO. Brookwood Surrey.(FM) 27 Sept /1 Oct 21
Queens Royal West Kent Regiment.
JONES. Thomas.VC. DCM. Runcorn Cemetery, Cheshire. 14 October 2021
1st Bn. The Cheshire Regiment.
Note: (FM) Family Memorial
(GT) Gravesite Tidied
A total of 21 Victoria Cross recipients headstones or memorials have been cleaned during the period 23 April 2021 to 14 October 2021. In addition, a significant number of headstones or memorials with military connections, have been cleaned while working in these cemeteries.
Our team has since April has seen the VCT attend over 20 mainstream military events and been responsible for organising a number of our own including a special DDay memorial event at Lakeside Doncaster. Supported by veterans, re-enactors and enthusiasts supporting the VCT we have grown our network and profile to such an extent that the VCT events team are now first on the list for significant events in 2022. The purpose of the events is not to simply raise funds, it provides a meaningful opportunity for veterans to get out and about and enjoy the company of their colleagues and tell heir stories to the public.
Our events have also included engagement between veterans and schools, learning about the VC, World War 1 and their local VC hero. Thomas Jones VC's story was told to Victoria Road School children in Runcorn by our veterans who then attended his grave site for a re-dedication service following its cleaning by the VCT. One pupil was so inspired by the event that they bought flowers out of their pocket money to lay on the grave.
Our veterans will continue to deliver our objectives under the Positive Pathways programme made possible by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund. Without their help and support a significant number of veterans would be without meaningful opportunities to remain active both mindfully as well as physically. We now have much to build upon and look forward to continuing to exceed expectations when we report in March 2022 at the end of this phase of the project.