Uppingham man pays tribute to fallen troops

Steve Buzzard EMN-140209-173353001
Steve Buzzard EMN-140209-173353001
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A football which was signed by residents of Uppingham has been placed at a memorial in Belgium.

Steve Buzzard, of Branston Road, Uppingham, visited the Khaki Chums Memorial in Ploegsteert to place the football, which included the signatures of at least one person from every street in the town. The memorial is believed to be the site of a fotball match between troops during the Christmas Day truce in 1914, which was the reason for Steve’s unique memorial.

During the course of the weekend, Steve visited 10 cemeteries and six memorial sites, as well as a number of areas where local men fought in battle, particularly the actions in 1915 and 1917 - the former being the Battle of Loos, where many Lincolnshire and Leicestershire men fell.

He also attended the Menin Gate ceremony in Ypres on the evenings of August 22, 23 and 24. On all three occasions the 2 minutes silence was observed and crowds present on each night was in excess of 1,000.

The final resting places and sites of commemoration of the following soldiers were found.

Uppingham: L/Cpl Charles William Aris 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment, Pte Frederick Brewster 1st Bn Leicestershire Regiment, Pte George Crick 7th Bn Norfolk Regiment, Pte Joseph Thomas Edwards 1st Bn Leicestershire Regiment, L/Cpl Benjamin Nutt 6th Bn Leicestershire Regiment, Pte George Porter 7th Bn Leicestershire Regiment, Pte Harry Jim Southwell 1/6th Bn West Yorkshire Regiment, Cpl Frederick Thomas Tookey 6th Bn Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry.

Ayston: Pte James Hircock 17th Bn Kings Liverpool Regiment.

Belton-in-Rutland: Pte Charles W Betts 7th Bn Cameron Highlanders, Pte William James Clarke 1/4th Bn Leicestershire Regiment.

Steve, who works at New College Stamford as a campus and community officer, said: “The weekend was a very humbling experience and myself and two other colleagues found it very moving.

“We are planning on returning to the Western Front in 2016, concentrating on the Somme region of France.”

Steve also held an exhibition in Uppingham to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of war.