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Grandmother works to make sure soldiers are not forgotten

HISTORY: Eunice Mcghie-Belgrave and local youngsters lay wreaths at Stechford cenotaph

GRANDMOTHER EUNICE McGhie-Belgrave has worked tirelessly for years to make sure the younger generation in her Birmingham community never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Like the war memorial that unites five streets in Stechford, Eunice with her Shades of Black community group, got local people together to research the history behind the memorial.

Now scores of youngsters from two local schools – Corpus Christi Catholic Primary and Stechford Primary – honour the area’s war dead each Remembrance Day.

With help from a Heritage Lottery Award, Eunice launched a research project into the veterans of World War One and Two, wanting to learn more about the 51 soldiers whose names grace the Stechford cenotaph which stands at the central point of five main roads in the area.

In a service led by Rev Griphus Gakuru, vicar of All Saints church, youngsters laid wreaths of poppies in the third annual ceremony. An extra plaque, financed by the Community Chest Fund, to honour those who gave their lives in war, was also unveiled.

Eunice, who launched Shades of Black in Birmingham following inner-city unrest during the 1980s, said: “It’s so important that the next generation never forgets those who gave their tomorrows for our today. The children get so much from researching the history of the cenotaph. They learn about their roots and how their grandfathers’ generation paid the ultimate price.”

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