VETERANS have begun work to restore 120 First World War graves in Bacup.

Operation War Graves 100, spearheaded by Haslingden-based charity Veterans in Communities (VIC), will see all military headstones in Bacup Cemetery marked with details of the deceased.

Soldiers will also be remembered with the burial of a time capsule containing wartime letters and newspapers.

Students and members of Lancashire Community Payback will help volunteers plant poppies and erect plants in the cemetery.

Steve Butterworth, an outreach worker for VIC, said the work was being done to ‘ensure the memories of those who fought and died in the First World War are properly honoured’.

The time capsule will contain instructions for it to be dug up in 100 years time so that people in 2114 can discover that sacrifices made by their ancestors.

Mr Butterworth, whose great uncle Enoch died in Ypres in 1917, said: “We know of 120 graves that are in the cemetery and we have had meetings with Rossendale Council to discuss the work that we are doing. The council has also provided a detailed map to help with locating the graves.

“We have had new plaques made by Chiselhursts in Bacup with the soldier’s name, rank and date of death and we will be installing these on a concrete plinth. We will also be planting poppies on the graves of those who fell.

“We want people to be aware of the work that we will be carrying out in Bacup Cemetery for the next six months and we will be putting signs on the cemetery gates and notices at the library so people understand what we are doing.”

VIC hopes to have all the memorial stones in place in time for Remembrance Sunday.

The organisation’s manager, Bob Elliott, said: “VIC will soon be very visible working in Bacup Cemetery and we want to reassure all families who have loved ones in the cemetery that the work will be carried out to the highest of standards and with the utmost respect for all who have been laid to rest in the cemetery.”

Among the items in the time capsule will be a letter appealing for food parcels for the forces from Grove Mill in Bacup in 1915.