A SWINDON war hero is to be honoured 96 years after his death - and a woman who attended his wedding in 1917 is set to do the honours.

Herbert ‘Bert’ Marfleet died in 1919 and was buried in a simple family grave at Radnor Street Cemetery.

It was only recently, when local historians Mark Sutton and Frances Bevan began researching Bert’s story, that his full story emerged.

They found that Bert had died of malaria and, as this was contracted while fighting for his country in Salonika during the First World War, he was entitled to an official Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone.

The headstone was finally installed a few weeks ago, and now Mark and Frances have got together with another local historian, Andy Binks, to give Bert the local recognition his sacrifice deserves.

On Sunday a short service at the cemetery chapel and a dedication ceremony at the graveside will take place at 2pm, in the presence of Joyce Murgatroyd.

As a baby, Joyce, now 98, attended Bert’s marriage to her godmother, Elsie Morse, while he was home on leave.

On Armistice Day 1922, she also laid flowers in his memory at the unveiling of the Great Western Railway war memorial at Paddington Station, in the presence of Winston Churchill.

So it is fitting that Joyce, of Whitworth Road, Swindon, should be the guest of honour on Sunday, when she will lay a wreath on Bert’s grave.

The dedication is the main focus of a day of free activities at the cemetery, organised by the Radnor Street Cemetery Society and sponsored by Swindon Heritage.

Adver columnist Graham Carter, who is helping to organise the event, said: “Anyone who wants to come along and pay their respects to Bert and the other 102 official war heroes who are buried in the cemetery is welcome.

“The ground is a little uneven around the grave, but Joyce was determined to see the new headstone as soon as it was installed, and we are looking forward to her coming back on Sunday as Bert finally gets the recognition he deserves.”

As well as the formal service and dedication, there will also be a chance to learn more about some of the other historic graves at the cemetery through a guided walk, starting at 12pm.

It is the latest in a series of walks that take place every second Sunday of the month until October, and there is no need to book.

From 11am volunteers will also make burial registers available to help family historians with research and help them locate graves. Visit www.swindonheritage.com.