Speech by Tom Bradburn
Friends of Anfield Cemetery

We all know that a cemetery is about love and respect but it can be more than that. Anfield Cemetery is the chosen destination of almost 600,000 people over 155 years. It’s the largest geographical footprint from which to tell Liverpool’s unique and remarkable history.

Friends of Anfield’s aim is to build an International Heritage and Visitor Centre and get Anfield’s Grade II cemetery off Historic England’s At Risk Register by 2025. It will provide jobs, training and volunteer opportunities.

This has received tremendous encouragement from Liverpool City Council, Historic England, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund - and funding of approximately £400,000.

One of our Heritage Lottery Fund projects is called ‘Lifting the Lids’, the result of which will be a wheelchair friendly Heritage Trail around this 141 acre site.

The stories have been selected by Friends and Positive Futures (a charity helping young people) - all working on a voluntary basis. The words on the boards were compiled by the young people, who will be conducting some tours from the end of September.

Two of the thirteen Heritage Trail stories are Chinese-related and are the only boards to have been installed - so far. One story relates to Su Zen Young (our Chinese revolutionary) and is about 200m away. The other is to the memory of the Chinese Labour Corps, the commemoration of which we are honoured to have been asked to take part in.

This story was chosen because it is so powerful - and because it faces up to the barriers of racism. Our five CLC headstones are a testimony to one of the great injustices of war. We cannot know these men, but we know their deeds. When the world was locked in one of its bloodiest conflicts, 95,000 men from China volunteered to help Britain, to do the most dangerous and horrendous tasks any nation can ask of another.

No monument stands to honour them. It is an injustice waiting to be corrected: a debt our nation owes. And we are here, so they shall not be forgotten.