Arthur Charles Argent headstone

A headstone is set to be unveiled for a war hero who has lay in an unmarked grave for 99 years.

Arthur Charles Argent died in 1920 at the Billericay Isolation Hospital from pneumonia after he had been discharged from the Army the previous year and granted an Army pension.

On May 11, 1920, he was buried in the churchyard at Little Burstead in an unmarked grave.

But now, Karen Dennis, of Billericay, has raised more than £1,000 in the space of three weeks and a headstone has been added to the grave - which will be officially unveiled at an event on Saturday.

History buff Mrs Dennis admitted the project has stemmed from her interest in tracking her own family’s past. She said:

“28 years ago I had to give up work, and I became very interested in researching local links to the war. My great uncle had served in the Great War and researching his life sparked a wider interest. Every year we got to Remembrance services and we say ‘We Will Remember Them’ but when I began to look into it, and ask people, no-one actually knew who they were. I started researching a lot of the soldiers and there were maybe three where it was really difficult, I could find barely anything about Arthur Charles Argent.”

Once Mrs Dennis had researched the history, she feared fundraising for the headstone would be the hard bit, but cash raced in. She added:

“It is a huge credit to the people of Billericay, I couldn’t believe how much they raised so quickly. The final donation came in on Armistice Day; it’s like all the pieces came together."

Mrs Dennis insisted special praised must go to Reverend Paul Carr and funeral director Roy Farrer.

The headstone will be unveiled on Saturday at St Mary’s church at 10.15am.

Article by Southend Standard

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