Grantham cadets help create new wood in memory of the fallen

Grantham cadets help create new wood in memory of the fallen
The Organiser, Lt Col Ray Ogg, the Contingent Commander of the CCF at King's School Grantham, with the Victoria Cross won by Charles Sharpe

Cadets based at a Grantham school have been planting trees in a new wood created in memory of fallen military personnel from Lincolnshire who served in World War One.

The King’s School Grantham Combined Cadet Force (CCF) has been heavily involved in the creation of the new Aubers Ridge Wood on land at Glebe Farm, East Keal.

It’s been named after the Battle of Aubers Ridge where the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment fought and sustained heavy losses in France in 1915 during World War One.

As part of their Operation Reflect 2016, the CCF working with the Woodland Trust decided this year to create the wood in memory of those that fell in that conflict.

The CCF also invited members of the Royal Anglian Regiment, successors of the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, along to plant the first trees on Friday, November 19, which they did alongside the Leader of South Kesteven District Council, Councillor Bob Adams.

He brought with him the Victoria Cross won by Royal Lincolnshire Regiment’s Charles Sharpe at Aubers Ridge for his bravery on 9 May 1915.

The following day it was the turn of the cadets themselves to plant trees and they were joined by the Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Mr Toby Dennis and Lincolnshire County Councillor Raymond Phillips.

A cairn (a human made pile of stones) was built amid the wood as a memorial to the fallen and in a break from plantings The King’s School cadets laid wreaths there in remembrance.

In total around 800 trees provided by The Woodland Trust were planted, including two by Florence and Freddie Plummer, the grandchildren of the landowners. A poppy was also placed on each tree.

Lieutenant Colonel Ray Ogg of The King’s School CCF, said: “Thanks to the Woodland Trust and Colonel Frank Hewitt who helped to liaise with the Woodland Trust for the help with the trees.

“The last tree was planted as the sun was beginning to go down which felt like a really poignant moment.

“After discussions with the landowners it has been decided we will plant trees again in 2017 and 2018, thereby commemorating the 1914-18 war in conjunction with the Woodland Trust.”