Air Cadets Lay Remembrance Crosses On Buckinghamshire War Graves

By Remembrance Sunday, RAF Halton cadets will have placed remembrance crosses on over 1,200 graves.

On the centenary of the First World War, air cadets from RAF Halton and Royal British Legion Riders in Buckinghamshire took part in the ‘Century of Sacrifice’ project.

Their mission was to plant crosses on all the graves of the fallen in Buckinghamshire.

Corporal Cadet Jack said: "It is a very touching project because when you think of the war… you don’t really see it being so close to home.

"But being here where there’s over 200 war graves, it really does make you think how actually… it affected everyone.

"It’s a big thing for the younger generation because it’s very easy for people to get caught up in the everyday.

"Actually when you think, some of the stuff that’s happening today wouldn’t actually be happening today if it weren’t for the sacrifices made by hundreds and hundreds of thousands, millions of men a hundred years ago."  

Before the 11th November more than 1,200 crosses will have been laid, and each one has been individually decorated.

Sergeant Cadet Jack said: "We’ve been drawing on the crosses, designing them, and when we’re doing some fundraising, we also get members of the public to come in and put their own design on a cross, so then they’re paying their respects to the people who have served for our country.

"I laid a cross on a 17-year-old’s [grave] earlier… Me, being 16, it’s only a year older than me.

"To think they still could have been in education and they’ve had only 17 years of living, they still could have had 90 more, and it’s just gone from them.

"I also saw two Australian graves, and they had died on the same day. We’ve just assumed that they were in the same aircraft when they died, and now they’re just here resting together."

RAF Halton cadets have placed remembrance crosses on over 200 war graves in Buckinghamshire.

The Commonwealth War Graves cemetery in Aston Clinton is in the middle of being completely renovated, but the cadets are still making sure all of the graves there have crosses.

Alongside them are Royal British Legion riders who are helping them visit 127 graveyards.

Keith Antcliffe, from Royal British Legion Riders Branch, said: "They’re a great bunch of kids and they want to learn it.

"Apparently seeing some of these has been quite emotional for some of them, when they’ve realised what these people went through.

"Just in this graveyard alone there’s a couple of headstones… that don’t have an age. They just have ‘boy’ written on there. There’s no rank.

"You forget how young people were. Some people lied to get into the forces, so that they could go and serve the country and protect their loved ones. Things like that, they get to you, they really do."

RAF Halton cadets have placed remembrance crosses on over 200 war graves in Buckinghamshire.

Corporal Cadet Jack felt that Remembrance Sunday this year would be different for the cadets after taking part in the project: "When we’re parading through the town square, it does make you think.

"When everyone else is just watching seeing everyone march past, and you actually laid a cross on about 50 people, their graves, it shows that it isn’t just something that’s going on, but actually it needs to be remembered.

"It’s very touching inside to know that I’ve been a part of that."

Sergeant Cadet Jack agreed: "In the past I’ve just thought that a lot of people have died for us, but now I know how many people have died and that’s just in Buckinghamshire, I’ll be thinking about them and the people I’ve laid crosses for."