Commonwealth war graves honoured at Londonthorpe

The war graves at Londonthorpe.
The war graves at Londonthorpe.

A service to honour the 32 Commonwealth servicemen who are buried at Londonthorpe’s St John the Baptist church was held today.

The men who came from all over the Commonwealth, including two soldiers from New Zealand, are buried at the church due to the presence of the military hospital at Belton Park during the First World War.

The graveyard has recently been recognised by the War Graves Commission with the creation of a plaque marking the men’s burial place.

The remembrance day commemoration was well attended with readings and a hymn inside the church, before the congregation moved outside to hear the names of the men and those of Londonthorpe servicemen read out by the graves, and to observe a two minutes silence.

Lifelong church warden Enid Hewitt, aged 85, brought along the medals which belonged to her father, Private Tom Streather, who fought in World War I with the Royal Northumbrian Fusiliers.

Mrs Hewitt also read out a poem that she has written herself, titled Remember, which includes the pertinent words: ‘Their medals will be treasured, And handed down the line.’

The service was led by curate of St John the Baptist, Rev Jacqueline Bell, who said: “Rev Boland, priest in charge, and myself felt it important to honour the 32 servicemen buried here. The fact that this is the final resting place of these young men is very important to the village and to us as a church, and it’s heartening to see so many people here today. Today is also a chance for us to share God’s love with the community of Londonthorpe.”