Hartlepool cadets pay tribute to First World War fallen

Army cadets with one of the trees they planted in North Cemetery.
Army cadets with one of the trees they planted in North Cemetery.

Army cadets have paid tribute to 41 Hartlepool First World War soldiers buried in a town cemetery by planting trees.

Girls from the High Tunstall Detachment of the Cleveland Army Cadet Force, known locally as the Tunny Rifles, planted a tree for each of the 41 First World War graves in North Cemetery.

We were delighted to be given the chance to get involved and pay our own special tribute to the war dead within the cemetery

Staff Sergeant Terry Shaw

The planting was organised by Hartlepool Borough Council neighbourhood development officer Irene Cross on behalf of the Friends of North Cemetery group.

The cadets were joined on site by members of the cemetery’s friends group, Hartlepool’s Parks and Countryside volunteers and the council’s Countryside Team.

Irene said: “On behalf of the Friends of North Cemetery and Hartlepool Council, I would like to thank the Army Cadets and the Parks and Countryside volunteers for giving up their own time to plant these trees.

“The trees are another big boost to the friends’ on-going efforts to develop the cemetery and improve the local environment.”

It follows a major project to construct a new memorial to 40 war casualties,whose graves in the cemetery could not be clearly identified,and the reinstatement of 41 separate war graves.

Staff Sergeant Terry Shaw, detachment commander of the Tunny Rifles, added: “We were delighted to be given the chance to get involved and pay our own special tribute to the war dead within the cemetery.

“The tree planting formed part of our Cadet in the Community initiative and also helped the cadets in working towards their Army Proficiency Certificate.”

The Friends of North Cemetery have been the driving force behind a range of improvements that has seen the cemetery turned into an attractive and popular open space close to Hartlepool town centre.

The Tunny Rifles are always on the lookout for new recruits aged 12-18.

They parade on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Army Reserve Centre, Easington Road, from 6.45pm to 9pm. Just turn up or call (01642) 242414.