THE grave of a Malvern war hero has been restored after a pair of veterans appealed for help.

Alan Charles Lorraine Bate, a Territorial Army officer who died just before the end of the First World War in 1918, is buried in Great Malvern Cemetery.

At some point in the last few years his headstone ended up on its side, so veterans Tony Hacon and Tim Kidwell decided to repair and replace it.

Mr Hacon said: "My friend Tim Kidwell and I are former Royal Artillery Officers living in Malvern.

"As you can see, the grave is in a bad state of repair - the cross having been felled by the council a few years ago."

A Malvern Town Council spokesman clarified the grave had not been knocked over, but rather was lowered after a health and safety assessment on the graveyard.

They said: "In 2002 Great Malvern Cemetery was subject to a nationwide health and safety inspection regarding the safety of headstones and the possible injuries that may have resulted if a headstone had failed.

"All headstones were tested, and the decision was taken by the council at the time to lay down the larger memorials and stake the small lawn grave memorials in Great Malvern Cemetery, if they failed the safety test.

"The Bate memorial is a large cross on three large plinth stones hence the decision at that time to lay the cross down.

"Earlier this year, the Town Council traced relatives of Captain Bate to gain permission for the restoration to take place and this was then carried out by a group of volunteers who restore military graves around the country.

"They re-fixed the cross in position, cleared leaves from the base of the grave and laid new gravel, making an excellent job of restoring Captain Bate’s grave."

October 25 will see a ceremony to re-dedicate the grave at 11am.

Standard bearers from the Royal British Legion and Royal Artillery Association will be in attendance, along with Captain Bate's living relative John Bate-William.

Captain Bate died on October 25, 1918, just a few weeks before the end of the war.

He died of pneumonia in Winchester while serving at Horse Sand Fort in the Solent off Portsmouth with the Royal Garrison Artillery.

His father Arthur was also a Royal Artillery Officer before him.