Hereford & Worcester

Pershore streets to be named after war dead not plums

War grave headstones
Image caption The Commonwealth War Graves Commission looks after 74 graves in Pershore cemetery

A Worcestershire town council has been told it has to name streets on a new housing estate after servicemen buried in the local cemetery - not fruit.

Pershore Town Council originally wanted the streets named after varieties of plum, the fruit the town is known for.

Wychavon District Council overruled the choice, saying it was more important to honour servicemen than fruit.

There are 74 war graves in Pershore cemetery - 64 were airmen, 41 of whom were Canadian.

Councillor Judy Pearce, Wychavon District Council's elected planning chief, said: "When this estate was in the planning stage there was some concern that the houses were far to close to the cemetery and these two rows of graves that are tended by the War Graves Commission.

"To me it seemed an opportunity that was too good to miss that some of the names should be used."

'Lasting tribute'

RAF Throckmorton, near Pershore, had been used as a World War II aerodrome and many Canadian air crews were trained there.

Gil Phillips, the nephew of Canadian pilot Graham Hynam, who died when his Wellington bomber crashed in Pershore, said he backed naming the streets after servicemen.

He said: "It's well deserved and would certainly be a lasting tribute to all those involved."

Flying Officer Hynam died while taking part in a flypast over Pershore on 25 May 1943 when his plane lost a wing and crashed, damaging the town's Brandy Cask pub.

Wychavon Council has a shortlist of 12 names and will make a final choice which ones will be used within a week.

Mrs Pearce said: "We do have one quite French name which is prominent in the list because the relations of that particular airman have been in touch with Pershore for some time, so we are going to try and use that one."

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