It is 2am in Lyneham and the Museum is in darkness, but the hard-working Corps Historian has just popped out of the foyer into the heat of the day. He is in Chennai (formerly Madras) at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Cemetery and it is 7.30am and 26°C.

He’s gathering images of REME gravestones for the Corps Died in Service Database. There are 19 names of REME soldiers who died in the Second World War in the immaculately kept cemetery. There are also a couple of gravestones of Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) EME soldiers.

Three photos of headstones close up in a cemetery, all white with plants and small remembrance crosses in front. The final picture on the right also shows two men stood behind the headstone.

The headstones of Craftsman Charles Brasseur REME and Corporal Kofi Payin West African EME. Steve and Head Gardener, P. Venkatraman BEM by another REME headstone in the cemetery.

Coincidentally, Charles Brasseur’s name came up recently in a report I drafted for a museum client on his father’s war service.

The Head Gardener was awarded his British Empire Medal last year for his diligence looking after the site since 1991. He told me the site opened in 1952 just before the Coronation and here we are, 70 years later, just before the Coronation!

We’re keen to hear from anyone with images of REME graves which they are prepared to share.  Please drop a note to [email protected] - all will be acknowledged. More information can be found on the War Graves Project webpage.

Steve Colling, Corps Historian