A NATIONAL charity which renovates derelict graves of Victoria Cross winners has set up a branch in Burton.
The Victoria Cross Trust, which restores run-down graves of Victoria Cross winners, established its Burton branch last month.
The Mail has previously reported the trust’s plans for restore the grave of Burton war hero William Coltman, who was awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.
The trust also plans to build a life size statue of Coltman in the town.
The branch, which currently has two members, aims to raise funds towards Coltman’s statue and the cost of repairing his grave, at St Mark’s Church in Winshill.
Danielle Pritchard, one of the founding members of the Burton branch, who is also curator at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum, said the branch will also identify other graves of Victoria Cross winners in need of repair.
She said: “We are making a list of where they are and what condition they are in so we can prioritise them and keep them in a good state of repair.
“William Coltman is an important part of Burton’s history and heritage but it’s sad that he and others risk being forgotten.
“But we are looking to promote the history of Burton’s Victoria Cross winners, and the Staffordshire Regiment.
“And with the First World War centenary coming up we hope there will be lots of stories to tell.”
Gary Stapleton, chairman of the Victoria Cross Trust, said the branch would provide a blueprint for other future branches across the country to follow.
He said: “I think it’s wonderful there are people who want to support the trust’s work to ensure the memories of the men awarded the Victoria Cross are kept alive.
“There is a big interest in Victoria Cross history within Staffordshire.
“But more people would be interested if they knew more about it so the Burton branch will help us to get the message out there and help people learn about local heroes.”