Written by Russell Parry FRIPH.

This is a communication we have received from Mr Russell Parry, who discovered memorials to the LFs whilst on a working trip to Skopje, Macedonia. Very moving…..
Whilst recently working in Macedonia or to give it its official title, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, my host mentioned there was a local British war cemetery and she would be happy to take me their as it was only in the suburbs of the capital city Skopje where we were working.
On the morning prior to my return home, we drove through the busy traffic of the city, out a short distance on one of the main city highways then a left turn and left again along a short, rough, lane which lead to the cemetery.


It was a beautiful day with the mist just clearing to reveal clear blue skies and the sun which lit a small stone walled area containing 123 war graves of soldiers and one nurse from the first world war.

The memorial garden seemed such a peaceful area, maybe because we had just left the hustle & bustle of the city, but it seemed more than that, very calm, very quiet. A special place.

The cemetery itself, with a small white washed church to the left and a small holding on the other, was maintained to an immaculate standard, the grass recently cut, and, even through it was November some of the rose bushes between the graves still bore their scented flowers.
Remembrance Sunday was only the previous weekend and four wreaths lay below the plaque "Their Name Liveth For Evermore" and a single poppy was placed on one of the graves.

As I walked along the rows of graves I noticed the words "Lancashire Fusiliers", I could not believe it, all this way from my home in Appley Bridge in Lancashire only to find memorials of soldiers from the same county. Then for a moment the reality of what I was looking at dawned on me, these poor young lads who probably lived not far from my own home, had left their homes and travelled across Europe, I guess mostly on foot, only to die in what was then a remote part of the Balkans which few people, even today, can tell you where it is.


Then, on the last row of graves, a memorial unusually gave both the name and address: M2/226053
Private W. Seddon, 102 St Helens Road, Leigh, Lancashire, Nr Manchester, England.

I could not believe my eyes, this address was just seven miles or so from home.
What made this all the more poignant was that he died 3rd November 1918, just days before the end of the war.

We can only imagine the grief of their poor families. Their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, wondering where on earth their loved ones had been laid to rest.


All one can say is that it is a very special place.

Then it dawns on me that I must leave to catch my flight and return home.
I travel back to the city, another world from what I have just left.

I am now waiting for my flight, looking forward to getting home safely and seeing my family again; but thoughts of those poor lost soldiers are still in my mind.

Let's not forget them.