'It is not anger, just sadness': Military grave restorer to leave Jersey after government dispute

  • ITV Channel's Katya Fowler speaks to Steve Davies about the restorations

A war veteran who restores and maintains military graves across Britain says he will no longer come to Jersey after a dispute with local officials.

Steve Davies who served in the British Army adds that he is passionate about the work which is voluntary and funded by donations.

Steve says every grave renovation can cost up to £500 and explains his frustration after he was asked to change his cleaning process.

He says: "This is not anger, it's just sadness.

"I can only think they are embarrassed that an outsider has come and done this and they haven't done it."

Beverley Bloor reached out to Steve to restore her sister's grave. Credit: ITV Channel

Steve started five years ago in the UK after he discovered the overgrown grave of an 18-year-old rifleman who was killed six weeks before the Armistice in 1918.

He branched out to Jersey, restoring more than 80 graves across the island - including Beverley Bloor's late sister's.

Beverley explains: "It means a lot to my family.

"I am really pleased with the results, it looks as lovely now as it was when it was first done.

"I just find it sad really that he has been made to jump through hoops."

In response, Jersey's Cabinet Office says: "Whilst the cleaning can be seen as beneficial, there are unintended consequences of abrasive and strong chemical cleaning that erode the natural stone grave markers unnecessarily.

"This causes a larger surface area to be exposed to become dirtier sooner and leads to quicker regrowth of the biological fauna, arguably requiring more frequent cleaning. This leads to swifter erosion making the inscriptions degrade each time.

"Subsequently, a call was received from a colleague of Mr Davies to confirm they had discussed matters and decided that they no longer wished to continue with the works they had planned using the less aggressive cleaning methods.

"They did not believe they could achieve the finish and product they have led their customers to expect."

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