ALMOST 96 years after his death, a World War One hero from Swindon was finally honoured properly at a moving ceremony yesterday.

Herbert ‘Bert’ Marfleet died in 1919 and was buried by his family, but he was never given an official War Graves Commission headstone.

This was put right on Sunday afternoon when 98-year-old Joyce Murgatroyd, who attended Bert’s wedding to her Godmother Elsie Morse, laid flowers by the newly placed headstone in the Radnor Street Cemetery

Despite the uneven ground, she was determined to be there to place the flowers by the Italian marble headstone, with several dozen people in attendance t hear the Last Post and pay respects during a minute’s silence.

Speaking afterwards, Joyce said: “I would like to say thank you to everyone who has come today. This is such a wonderful day for me and I am so grateful.”

The existence of Burt’s grave had all but been forgotten until Joyce mentioned it in passing to local historian Mark Sutton and the full story emerged.

At first, there was no trace of Bert because he had not died during the war but a chance find while looking for another story revealed a clipping from the Adver which revealed more of the tale.

It was found that Bert had died of malaria which was contracted while fighting for his country in Salonika during the First World War, qualifying him for a war grave. 

To begin with, the grave could not be found as it covered in shrubbery but this has now been cleared.

Before the ceremony, a small presentation was given about Bert and Joyce, who was just a baby at the time of the wedding.

There was a photo of the wedding with both Joyce and Bert in it, and stories about Joyce’s time growing up in Swindon were also told.

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

Alongside the formal service and dedication, visitors also had the chance to learn more about some of the other historic graves at the cemetery through displays in the chapel and a guided walk.

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 make burial registers available to help family historians with research and help them locate graves. Visit for more information.