Date published: 18 May 2020
Author: FNRC

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VE day event recorded in Newbury Weekly News

The Friends of Newtown Road Cemetery remember the fallen on VE Day.

Our VE day event was reported in the Newbury Weekly News on May 14th. A transcript of the entry is below:

Some of the Friends of Newtown Road Cemetery gathered in the cemetery to place poppies on the graves of soldiers who were killed during the world wars on the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Most are interred in Commonwealth War Graves near the site of their sacrifice, but some who were wounded made it back to Britain, sadly succumbed here and are buried in this country; whilst others died from disease before leaving for foreign shores.

Newtown Road Cemetery has 20 servicemen’s graves from both world wars, and a small party of Friends thought it fitting to spend the two-minute silence (respecting social distancing, of course) alongside them on Friday and to learn a little more of their demise.

Ages of the war dead range from 21 (a Sergeant Air Gunner tragically lost in north-east England when a Wellington bomber malfunctioned and all the crew were killed) to 59 (an R.A.F. Mechanic who served in both wars, and sadly ended up committing suicide in his home at Salcombe Road whilst on sick leave).

Stanley Rawlings who was also 21 years old, was in the Fleet Air Arm in India where he suffered an insect bite which turned to a cerebral abscess and meningitis from which he died despite the best endeavours of the nursing staff to save him when repatriated to the U.K. His story was told to the Friends by Paul Thompson, his great nephew, who is seen here placing a poppy cross on the grave.

The Friends also paid tribute at the grave of the first man to be treated with Penicillin, P.C. Albert Alexander had been wounded whilst on duty in an air raid in Southampton. The trial proved successful, with no adverse side effects, but they simply didn’t have enough to complete the treatment. Afterwards the drug was put into mass production and as a result thousands of lives of wounded servicemen were saved at D-Day and beyond - to this day.

When the Coronavirus shutdown ends, we hope you will visit the cemetery and share the abundant nature and tranquility that the site offers. Hopefully it will then be open every day as it has been since 2009.

For further details of these, and the 12,000 others buried in Newtown Road Cemetery, visit the Friends’ website:

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Newbury Weekly News Article
©Newbury Weekly News
Newbury Weekly News Article


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