Bramley war graves volunteers help remove graveyard rubbish


A group of local volunteers who tidy and maintain Bramley’s forgotten war graves in their spare time have joined forces with the council to remove a large pile of rubbish at Bramley Baptist Church cemetery.

The rubbish mountain had been created by years of stuff being piled up in an area at the back of the cemetery. A local volunteer with a JCB helped out last Tuesday and finally cleared the rubbish. In total, five wagon loads were shifted.

Local resident and war graves volunteer Ian Johnstone said the clean-up was a result of local volunteers and the council joining forces. The group of about ten local residents from Bramley and Rodley give up a couple of hours every fortnight to clear close to 70 graves and memorials in the overgrown graveyard. Councillors Kevin Ritchie and Caroline Gruen were thanked for their help.

The results have been welcomed on social media.

On Facebook, Margaret Rhodes said: “It’s people like you all that puts the faith in the people of Bramley like the saying goes ‘so much owed to so few by so many’.”

Gary Pullan added: “This country need more awesome people like these. Respect.”

bramley war graves leeds west academy
Students at Leeds West Academy have designed ‘furniture’ to go on top of war graves in Bramley, Photo: Ian Johnstone/Facebook

Meanwhile, Leeds West Academy students have been designing and producing grave furniture to hold flowers and crosses for Remembrance weekend when 70 or so graves and memorials will have poppies, roses and crosses placed on them by volunteers.

Mr Johnstone added:

“We were invited to Leeds West Academy to see examples of their prototypes. It was obvious to us that a lot of thought had gone into the designs and the end result we’re sure will be excellent.”

Another volunteer, John Barker, added that students were “really polite and interested young men and a credit to their parents, Academy and Mr Winterbottom who has owned this project all year.”

The volunteers also recently reported problems with fly-tipping in the churchyard and have reported the problems to the council.

More volunteers are urgently needed for the regular Wednesday afternoon clean-ups – check out the Memories of Bramley Facebook group for latest updates.


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