Two men who care for Liverpool Naval Memorial

Award for two volunteers who care for Liverpool Naval Memorial

Two volunteers who care for Liverpool Naval Memorial and war heroes’ graves have received a prestigious award from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

David Grisenthwaite and Alister Baker who volunteer for the CWGC, were given a Spotlight Award and received a letter of congratulation from CWGC’s Director General, Claire Horton.

David and Alister monitor and clean the Liverpool Naval Memorial located on the famous city waterfront. They ensure it is kept free of litter and that graffiti is dealt with promptly. The Liverpool Naval Memorial commemorates 1,400 auxiliary naval officers and men, who died on active service aboard more than 120 ships, and who have no grave but the sea.

In May, they supported War Graves Week, the annual opportunity to shine a spotlight on the graves and memorials of Commonwealth service personnel around the world by leading tours for members of the public. They both also care for CWGC graves in their local area, monitoring and cleaning them when required.

Alister’s younger daughter served in the RAF as a medic in Iraq and then cared for injured service personnel at Headley Court, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation centre. She returned home safe, but Alister notes how this experience resonated with his family and reminded them of the sacrifices made by those who are named on the memorial he now cares for. He said: “It means a lot to be recognised with a Spotlight Award and I look forward to giving more talks soon.”

David said: “I care for 143 graves as well as the Naval Memorial and am grateful and humbled by the award. I really enjoy feeling like I am doing a worthwhile service in helping to remember those to whom we owe a great debt.”

CWGC’s Director General, Claire Horton, said: “I am delighted to share the news of our Volunteer special recognition, Spotlight Awards, in Volunteers’ Week, which is a time to both celebrate the outstanding contribution of our volunteers, and to showcase their work to inspire others who might be thinking of volunteering.

“CWGC’s UK-wide network of dedicated volunteers, absolutely epitomise our values and continually support our mission of keeping the memories of the fallen alive through a wide range of roles, committing hours of their time and energy freely, with passion and boundless enthusiasm.

“I and CWGC staff teams everywhere, are enormously grateful for their contribution. We want our volunteers to know how valued and appreciated they are, and Volunteers Week gives us a chance to do that publicly.”

Liverpool Waterfront