In addition, with a very personal trip looming this week to trace the steps of my grandfather in Normandy, I thought that this would be a great moment to show my children the final resting place of their great grandparents in the graveyard of St Andrews Church, also in Burgess Hill. This would also be the time to offer some much needed TLC to the memorial stone.
Starting at 11.30 on Sunday morning to the accompaniment of the church organ winding up another Sunday service, myself, Gunta, Rudi, Ramona and my Dad set to the task of reversing nature's recolonisation of the plot in order to give my grandparents a visible name once more.
Here's the before:
With the attention of scissors, trowel, water, bleach, scrubbing brush, black paint and a few bags of gravel over a 4 hour period I think that we put them back on the map!
I did my best with the task of filling in the rather weathered lettering, but any thoughts of a career change into monumental masonry may be somewhat premature.
The involvement of our children in the overall effort to make this plot once more presentable would I am sure have been highly appreciated by my grandparents, who sadly never had the opportunity to meet the next generation. Part of the lettering was also completed by Ramona which was a nice touch.
Apologies here are due to my grandparent's nearest neighbour, Stella Willis (mother of my friend) for kneeling on her stone in order to paint the tricky bits.... I am sure that she would not have minded.