Graves of World War One heroes restored at Grantham cemetery

The refurbished gravestones of Richard Wish Lutpon and Sgt H. W. Eglen. Pictured with the stones are, from left, John and Grace Knightall, Peter Cole, of G. H. Linnell and Coun Mike Cook.

The refurbished gravestones of Richard Wish Lutpon and Sgt H. W. Eglen. Pictured with the stones are, from left, John and Grace Knightall, Peter Cole, of G. H. Linnell and Coun Mike Cook.

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The gravestones of two young men killed in the First World War have been restored by a local stonemason’s.

G. H. Linnell offered to restore the stones in Grantham Cemetery when local councillorMike Cook highlighted the state of the graves.

The stones mark the resting place of Richard Wish Lupton, who lived in Castlegate, and Sgt H. W. Eglen, who came from East Dereham, and they reveal a touching story of heroism.

The two men died in Vendicies Au Bois in France on October 23, 1918, after being wounded in battle. Sgt Eglen remained with Lupton and was bandaging his wounds when a shell exploded nearby and they were both killed. Lupton was only 19 years of age and Eglen was 25.

Coun Cook led a small ceremony in the cemetery to mark the restoration of the gravestones. He was joined by Peter Cole, of G. H. Linnell, and John and Grace Knightall. Mr Knightall is chairman of the Grantham branch of the Royal British Legion and Mrs Knightall is poppy appeal organiser.

The gravestones were restored by G. H. Linnell by placing special concrete ‘shoes’ underneath them to straighten them and ensure they stay upright. The stones have been refurbished and cleaned.

Coun Cook said: “I think this is absolutely superb. What Linnells have done is amazing. It’s nice to know people still remember the sacrifices people made in the First World War.”

Mr Cole said it was very important that the gravestones were looked after so that people today could pay their respects and remember those who died for their country.

Mrs Knightall said: “It is very kind of the firm to do this. It’s a marvellous job.”

Lupton’s stone says he lived at 25 Castlegate in Grantham and was a member of the 1st East Yorks regiment. He was born on May 31, 1899. He was later buried at Romeries.

Sgt Eglen’s stone says he was from East Dereham. It says: “As a proof of his devotion to duty and humanity, paid the highest price at Vendicies au Bois, aged 25 years.”

Before the gravestones were restored, Coun Cook tried to find any members of the Lupton family, but without success. He said at the time: “The memorials tell the story of each of these two men, which is quite incredible. I have been looking for any Luptons who might live in the area but I have not been able to find any members of the family. The memorials were brought to our notice a few years ago and we looked into it. The last Lupton we came across was a Richard Nicholas Lupton who lived in Castlegate but we think he may be deceased.”