YOUNGSTERS from across Staffordshire and Bremen in Germany have teamed up with the Royal British Legion to tend to the war graves on Cannock Chase, as part of an international peace partnership.
A total of 23 teenagers, along with representatives from the Royal British Legion and Staffordshire County Council, have been cleaning and tidying the graves at the German Military Cemetery.
The clean-up is part of two weeks’ worth of commemorations between the German War Graves Commission and Staffordshire County Council, an annual event that has been running since 1962.
The young people, all aged 16 and 17 can use the link to improve their language skills, build new friendships, learn more about the history of the World Wars, and be involved in projects that concentrate on the theme of peace and reconciliation.
Councillor Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet support member for public health and community safety said: “Young people have been visiting Staffordshire from Germany to help tend the military graves for over 50 years now. The visit is all part of the Bremen Exchange which brings together young people to commemorate the many years of friendship between Staffordshire and the German state of Bremen.
“The activity gives the teenagers the opportunity to make new friends, share experiences, and learn from each other, while remembering those who lost their lives in the wars.
“This is a particularly poignant year for all of us, as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1, so it is even more important that we maintain these friendships, learn from the past and work together to build a better future.”
The German Military Cemetery on Cannock Chase is the only German cemetery in the country and lies next to the Commonwealth graves on Cannock Chase.
The teenagers are visiting Coventry Cathedral tomorrow, Friday, and will be returning to the German cemetery next Wednesday to lay a wreath.