Soldier buried under shed can see light at last

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A war hero soldier is finally back in the limelight after his grave was buried for decades under an eyesore SHED.

Private Walter Perry died in 1915 from wounds received during the Battle of Givenchy. He was 42.

But 65 years ago church officials built a brick shed partly over his grave in Bletchley’s St Mary’s churchyard.

Despite pleas from Walter’s family, diocese bosses refused to demolish the ramshackle structure, which plunged Walter’s headstone into weed-filled darkness.

“It’s a dark, damp and horrible building full of rubbish and even human excrement,” the soldier’s granddaughter Ann Dallas told the Citizen last year.

As a result of our story, St Mary’s vicar the Rev David McDougall jumped into action.

He applied to the Diocese for special permission to demolish the shed and formed a Church Action Group to renovate the area.

This month 100 members of St Mary’s congregation, together with volunteers from the community, rolled up their shirtsleeves and set to work.

“The result is amazing. My grandfather’s grave is now in the sunlight.” said a delighted Mrs Dallas.

“I wish to thank the Rev McDougall and St Mary’s for righting a wrong after 60 years,” she added.

The Rev McDougall now plans regular action group sessions to restore the entire overgrown churchyard, where many of the graves date back hundreds of years.

“We will make the churchyard a beautiful and honouring place for people to visit –a place befitting the Grade 1 listed church,” he vowed.