MP for Harrow East Bob Blackman calls for people to visit borough's Commonwealth war graves

Bob Blackman at the grave of Leefe Robinson VC

Bob Blackman at the grave of Leefe Robinson VC

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Harrow Times: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

An MP urged schools to visit Commonwealth war graves around Harrow in the coming year to learn about the impact of the First World War.

Bob Blackman made the call as part of a national initiative for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to map more than 300,000 war dead in each parliamentary constituency.

Last week the representative for Harrow East visited the Commonwealth war graves in Harrow Weald, including the grave of Leefe Robinson VC.

The pilot was awarded the Victoria Cross for shooting down a Zeppelin airship from a single pilot plane.

Mr Blackman said: “The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a time, not just for reflection and commemoration, but also an opportunity to educate a new generation of young people about the extraordinary events of a hundred years ago and to bring to life some of the personal stories from this remarkable time.

“Working with local groups and students gives us all an opportunity to explore how we would like to secure this legacy for generations to come.

“Visiting the graves of the fallen is a simple but profoundly important way to commemorate the outbreak of the war.”

The commission's UK area director Deirdre Mills said: “The centenary is an opportune time for us to re-engage and connect with local communities and young people, and explain how the people who are buried in our graves got to be there, who they were, and where they were from.

"More than 300,000 Commonwealth servicemen and women are commemorated in the UK. Their graves reflect both the local impact of the war but also its wider historical significance."

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