Liverpool war veterans re-buried with full honours

In incessant driving rain, sailors, soldiers, airmen and Royal Marines helped rededicate the grave of Liverpool veterans.

The ashes of several generations of service personnel scattered in a garden at the former Royal British Legion Club in Speke were reinterred with full honours.

The original site is earmarked for redevelopment following the closure of the club and its subsequent demolition – but not before a fitting home could be found for the ashes scattered by Service families in the memorial garden.

That new home came in the form of Speke’s All Saints Church.

Royal Navy Sub Lieutenant Liam Humphries has been involved with remembrance parades in Speke since the age of ten, and took over organising them after the local British Legion disbanded in 2015.

He also volunteered to act as the go-between for families dealing with the housing company planning to develop the site to ensure their voices were heard – and collectively agreed that the memorial garden should be moved.

Although it’s sad to see the garden go having been part of my life for so long, the plans that the families, housing developers and I created are fitting

Sub Lt Liam Humphries

Four military pallbearers carried a casket of ashes of 119 veterans, escorted by sailors from HMS Eaglet, Royal Marines of RMR Merseyside, plus reservist soldiers and RAF personnel.

They were joined by senior representatives from the Royal Navy’s Regional HQ in the Northwest, RAF Woodvale and 156 Royal Logistic Corps, plus the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Merseyside, Lord Mayor, local MP Maria Eagle and local councillors.

“Although it’s sad to see the garden go having been part of my life for so long, the plans that the families, housing developers and I created are fitting,” said Sub Lieutenant Humphries.

Among those who are remembered at the old garden is Royal Marine Corporal Ben Nowak of 45 Commando, killed in 2006 when a bomb exploded as his Rigid Raider passed under a bridge over the Shatt-al-Arab in Iraq.

He was laid to rest at All Saints, alongside other Service personnel including Marine Bob Binks and Sub Lt Humphries’ great grandfather Able Seaman Francis Green.

The ashes have been buried next to the war memorial in the church grounds.