Rededication service for Warwick solider after 100 years in an unmarked grave

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The rededication service for Warwick soldier Joseph Bromwich will take place at Bilston Cemetary near Wolverhampton on Sunday from 11.45am.

Pte Bromwich was among the soldiers who fought with the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot in the defence of Rorke’s Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War in South Africa during 1879. After the battle, made more famous by the 1964 film Zulu starring Sir Michael Caine, eleven Victoria Crosses - the highest honour for a British Soldier - were awarded to the men who took part, seven of which were for members of the 2nd Warwickshire.

Military enthusiast Paul King, of Bilston, said: “Pte Bromwich later married a girl named Betsy Fellows Davis from Bilston. “Until recently he had lain for nearly 100 years in an unmarked grave in Bilston Cemetery.

“Following the sale of his South Africa Gallantry medal at Fielding’s Auctioneers in Stourbridge in February this year, I got to hear of his unmarked grave and being a bit of a sentimental old fool I decided to do something about it.”

A headstone was erected at the grave in May, just after the 100th anniversary of Pte Browich’s death on February 25.

The service will be fairly simple and consist of a short dedication by a chaplain followed by a wreath laying ceremony.

Those attending are also invited to come along for tea, coffee, biscuits and cake in the front lounge area at Bilston Sports & Social Club just 350 yeards away from the cemetary entrance.

Pte Bromwich was born in the St Mary’s area in 1856, and his siblings who reached maturity were William, Charles, Emma, Maria, Henry, David, Tom and Sarah Ann.

Mr King has been trying to trace surviving members of Pte Bromwich’s family whom he believes could still be living in Warwick.

He can be contacted by calling 07766 162421 or emailed at paul.king@separite.com