Teenagers come together to lay wreaths across two ceremonies held in Cannock Chase

Teenagers have come together to lay wreaths across two ceremonies held in Cannock Chase.

Family and friends of Ignaz Kraft visit his grave
Family and friends of Ignaz Kraft visit his grave

Young people from across Staffordshire and Germany teamed up to tend to the German war graves across a two-week project.

This project was signed off with two wreath laying services, the first taking place at the Commonwealth cemetery and the second held in the German cemetery on August 4.

The young people laid wreaths at both services along with Staffordshire and German dignitaries.

The second service at the German cemetery was particularly poignant as the young people have been working to tend the graves.

Thirty-three young people have been involved as part of a friendship exchange programme which has taken place for the last 60 years.

The annual event forms part of two weeks' worth of commemorations between the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V.) and Staffordshire County Council.

The young people involved, all aged 15 to 18, get the opportunity to improve their language skills, build new friendships, learn more about the history of the World Wars, and be involved in projects that concentrate on the theme of peace and reconciliation.

Mark Sutton, cabinet member for children and young people at Staffordshire County Council said: "Young people have been visiting Staffordshire from Germany to help tend the military graves for 60 years now.

"The trip is all part of the Bremen Exchange which brings together young people to commemorate the many years of friendship between Staffordshire and the German state of Bremen.

"The initiative gives the young people the opportunity to make new friends and share experiences, as well as remembering those who lost their lives in the world wars."

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