04 August 2017

War graves gardener selected for Team GB

CWGC gardener Wayne (Harry) Harrod has been selected for the GB Cycling Team for next month’s Invictus Games.

Harry (as he likes to be known) was named as a non-traveling reserve in May, but this week received a call informing him he will be representing Great Britain in the games to be held in Toronto, Canada, from 23-30 September.

Speaking about the news, Harry said: “When I started this venture it seemed a tall order to achieve as the standard of other riders is very high, but it was amazing to do the training with fellow injured veterans. To now be selected to represent Great Britain in the Invictus Games is an honour.”

A former Colour Sergeant in the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, Harry had a leg amputated in 2004 after he was hit by a 10 ½ ton Spartan tracked reconnaissance vehicle. He stayed in the army until 2011 before joining the CWGC via the Poppy Factory’s mentoring programme in 2012. The programme enabled Harry to work with the CWGC while studying for his horticultural diplomas from the RHS. He’s now responsible for more than 1,000 war graves at Cambridge.

Harry initially got into cycling to keep fit and ease the cost on commuting, but as the months went by he started to do more and more miles. He now averages more than 150 miles a week and more than 200 when he’s training for races.

Last weekend, Harry took part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 to raise more than £800 for The Poppy Factory.

During 2016, he also rode in a number of marathon cycling events – raising funds for The Poppy Factory and Blesma – the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association.

Latest News

Monday 23 April will mark 100 years since the Zeebrugge Raid. One of the most celebrated episodes of the First World War at sea, the Royal Navy attempted to block the Belgian port and prevent the German navy from using it. More than 200 sailors and marines were killed and over 300 wounded. The dead are commemorated by the CWGC at sites in the UK and in Belgium, including Zeebrugge Churchyard which will be visited by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal over the weekend.

Today (18 April) is the International Day for Monuments and Sites, which aims to raise public awareness about the diversity and vulnerability of the world’s built monuments and heritage sites and the efforts required to protect and conserve them. We have asked the Commission’s conservation team to tell us about four of CWGC’s impressive, but lesser-known sites from around the world. Which one would you like to visit? Vote in our Twitter Poll.

A burial service was held at the Commission’s New Irish Farm Cemetery this morning for Captain H J I Walker and six unknown soldiers, more than 100 years after their death.