Private John Lovatt personifies the two main aims of Rutland Remembers. We wanted to create the most comprehensive record of all the men and women from Rutland who died in the First World War. John was very much a Rutlander – he was born in Oakham and moved to Cottesmore. Yet he is not remembered on any war memorial or in any other record of the Fallen. Now finally he is remembered as part of the county’s sacrifice.
The second aim is that the grave and memorial of every one of these Rutlanders is visited over the four year centenary. But John is buried in Tehran in Iran – at the CWGC cemetery inside the British Embassy compound. For the past four years of course this has been closed and all diplomatic links cut. On Sunday the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and some dignatories flew out to re-open the embassy and visit the CWGC graves there. We contacted some of those travelling with him and asked them to take a RR cross with them to leave on his grave after the Foreign Secretary’s wreath was laid. And so yesterday that cross was planted on his grave. The inscription on his gravestone from his family reads: “Too dearly loved in life to be forgotten in death” – which for us again epitomises the reason Rutland Remembers exists.