FUNDING has been secured to refurbish the grave of a Victoria Cross-winning soldier from Colchester.

Military charity, the Victoria Cross Trust had feared Private Edmund Fowler had been “forgotten” by the town as his grave had fallen into disrepair.

Pte Fowler was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1879.

But now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which is responsible for graves of soldiers who died in the two World Wars, has agreed to include the hero’s grave in its own clean-up programme.

The commission is about to begin a cleaning programme of 390 war graves in Colchester.

The grave’s inclusion is thanks to Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell, who met a commission representative on Friday.

Sir Bob said: “Although not strictly speaking a “war grave”, he has agreed to incorporate it in the general maintenance programme of nearby war graves from the First World War, including four Belgian soldiers who died in Colchester.

“There are also Canadian and Australian war graves.”

He added: “The grave of Edmund Fowler VC has not been forgotten, and the house overlooking Abbey Field where he lived until his death, in 1926, has in recent years had a plaque put on it to record this fact.”

The Victoria Cross Trust had tried to raise £1,500 from Colchester residents to pay to refurbish Pte Fowler’s dilapidated grave, but after more than six months, just £85 has been raised.