A PROJECT to restore the grave of a Burton war hero, who became one of the most decorated soldier in the First World War without firing a shot, has been completed.
A footplate engraved with Lance Corporal William Coltman’s status as the most decorated non-commissioned officer in the Great War, has been installed at his grave at St Mark’s Church, Winshill.
The charity behind the project, the Victoria Cross Trust, as well at the town’s MP and patron of the trust Andrew Griffiths thanked those who supported the restoration campaign.
Rangemore-born Coltman, who later lived in Winshill, received the Victoria Cross, and twice received the Military Medal and Distinguished Conduct Medal, while serving as a stretcher-bearer.
Mr Griffiths hailed the completion of the work as an ‘important and proud day’ for Burton.
He said: “It’s fitting that such a hero in Britain’s history has a grave that we can all be proud of.
“I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the fun that means the bravest man Burton has ever seen now has a fitting memorial.
“None of this would have been possible without the generosity of those who dug deep.”
Mr Griffiths also thanked the Mail which backed the fund-raising campaign with the launch of its Honour our Heros campaign earlier this year.
The entire memorial on the grave was also removed and the kerbstones replaced as part of the project.
The trust’s chairman Gary Stapleton paid tribute to Mr Griffiths and those who had helped raised the £3,000 needed to completed the work.
He said: “Congratulations are in order for the people of Burton for raising the money and to Andrew Griffiths for highlighting the memorial in the first place.
“Hopefully now people will want to find more out about the story of William Coltman.”
Rev Mookerji, of St Mark’s Church, said the grave is of ‘national importance’ when the nation starts four years of events to mark the centenary of the First World War.
He said: “I’m very pleased with how the work has gone.”