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Mulholland visits local Commonwealth war graves

July 4, 2014 3:18 PM

MP for Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland, has visited local commonwealth war graves at Lawnswood Cemetery to mark the WWI centenary commemorations and the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

monwealth War Graves Commission and Andrea Hetherington from Friends of Lawnswood Cemetery on his tour of the WWI and WWII war graves.Greg was joined by Stephen Liversage from the Com
Over 300,000 war dead are commemorated or buried in 13,000 locations across the United Kingdom- the highest number of commemorations in any country, other than France. The majority of those buried in the UK are the men and women who died at home in military hospitals. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has a responsibility for all the war graves in the UK, and they mark and maintain graves in 150 countries, build memorials for people who have no known grave and keep records of the people who have died.
Lawnswood Cemetery has 324 casualties from both wars, with 140 from WWI. 81 service men and women are commemorated on a screen wall at Lawnswood Cemetery but are actually buried at Leeds St George's Field (Leeds General Cemetery).
Commenting, Greg said:
"Visiting Lawnswood Cemetery was an interesting and moving experience and I was surprised to learn that there are 324 servicemen and women commemorated there. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission does fantastic work up keeping the graves and the War Memorial at Lawnswood is beautifully maintained.
"It was also fascinating learning about the individual casualties from Andrea Hetherington of Friends of Lawnswood Cemetery who has done extensive research into the graves and was able to tell us background information about some of the servicemen buried there. The Friends of Lawnswood Cemetery helps to preserve all the graves as well as utilising them as a historical resource.

"I urge everyone to take a moment and visit the Commonwealth War graves at Lawnswood Cemetery to remember our fallen servicemen and women especially during the centenary year of the outbreak of WWI."
Stephen Liversage from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said:
"I was extremely pleased to see the Leeds MP Greg Mulholland show so much interest in our work. War Graves near you are just as worthy of a visit as those in Belgium and France and with the erection of the CWGC entrance signs it is hoped that the general public will realise that they have War Graves on their doorstep where they can pay their respects to the fallen from the 2 great Wars."
Andrea Hetherington from Friends of Lawnswood Cemetery said:
"The Friends of Lawnswood Cemetery have been in existence since October2011. Our aims are to improve the cemetery as a place to visit, to preserve the graves which exist there and to promote Lawnswood as an important historical resource for the city of Leeds.
"We have a membership of around 80 people at the moment and put on guided walks at the cemetery and lectures elsewhere on a range of historical topics. We also meet on the first Saturday of every month for our Action Days, where we carry out gardening and basic maintenance tasks at the cemetery. We are currently the most active volunteer group in Leeds.
"We are entirely dependent on donations and membership fees for our income. Membership is £5 per person per year and includes a newsletter and free admission to any of our walks during the year.
"Lawnswood has over 200 Commonwealth War Graves from both World Wars and these are made up of the traditional Portland stone headstone, family gravestones and also the commemorations on the War Memorial. In addition, there are many memorial inscriptions on family graves which remember a First World War casualty who is buried overseas. It is important that we remember all of these individuals one hundred years on and reflect on the impact of the War on the city of Leeds."