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Grave of Victoria Cross war hero to be restored

By Clare Butler | Brierley Hill | News | Published:

The grave of a Victoria Cross war hero that was believed to have been damaged by a council lawnmower will be restored to its former glory.

The damaged grave with Colour Sergeant Anthony Booth, inset

The Victoria Cross Trust say they have raised around £3,000 to restore the grave of Colour Sergeant Anthony Booth at St Michael’s Church, in Brierley Hill.

But bosses state it will be their last restoration project for the time being due to 'lack of financial support'.

It comes as permission was granted by the Diocese of Worcester for work to be carried out after the grave was reportedly damaged by a Dudley Council maintenance team in August.

The Victoria Cross Trust initially said the grave had been desecrated by vandals, causing widespread outrage.

Speaking to the Express & Star, chief executive Gary Stapleton said he hoped work would get underway before Christmas.

He explained: "How it was damaged is irrelevant now, there is no way of knowing how it really happened.

"It is done and the main thing is we want to move forward now that funds are in place to do the work and the church has given approval.

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"We will now be trying to schedule the work as there will be two teams coming to fix it. There will be a restoration team and a cleaning team as well. It will be weather dependant but hopefully we will be able to welcome people down to come and see it being repaired once we have a date.

"Before Christmas we would hope to start but it will depend on conditions."

The headstone has completely come away from the kerb stones at its base, there is damage to some lettering and scratches on its surface.

Sergeant Anthony Clarke Booth famously covered the retreat of his regiment for three miles as they came under attack from up to 5,000 Zulu warriors in 1879.

Sgt Booth, who lived in William Street, Brierley Hill, served with the 80th Regiment of Foot – later South Staffordshire Regiment.

Clare Butler

By Clare Butler
Senior Reporter - @CButler_Star

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