Hardworking students from City of Wolverhampton College are celebrating a job well done after locating and restoring the graves of local war heroes across Wolverhampton.

More than 70 students on a range of Public Service courses were personally thanked by Major Sylvia Parkin, deputy lieutenant of the West Midlands at a special presentation ceremony at the college’s Wellington Road campus on April 6.

Under the guidance of personnel from 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment, the students spent a week cleaning headstones and removing weeds from the graves of service men and women at Bilston Cemetery, Merridale Cemetery, St John’s Church and St Michael and All Angels Church burial ground in Tettenhall.

The project, named Exercise Eagle Learner, formed part of the students’ course, but also aimed to broaden their understanding of the impact of war and sacrifice with a local perspective.

Major Sylvia Parkin said: “I have been most impressed by the work done by the students – it has been a superb project and I congratulate all of them on what they have achieved.”

Lecturer Richard Jones said: “Cleaning more than 300 graves in just three days is no mean feat, and the students should be very proud of all they have achieved.

“Not only have they had the chance to work with the army and gain an insight into their way of doing things, the life skills these students have gained over the last three days can be applied to any industry or profession they chose to go into.

The activity forms part of the Armed Forces Community Covenant, a pledge of mutual support between the city and its Armed Forces community. The Covenant aims to encourage all citizens to support the local Armed Forces community and make it easier for Service personnel, families and veterans to access the help and support they need. For further information visit

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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