A WOMAN travelled from Northamptonshire to Pontypool to place a cross on the grave of her aunt - the only known female First World War casualty to be buried in the borough.

The Mayor of Torfaen, Cllr Mandy Owen, Torfaen MP Paul Murphy and veterans from the Royal Welsh Regimental Association (Pontypool branch), Torfaen Veterans’ Association along with Cwmbran and District Ex-Service Association (CADESA) attended the service at St Michael’s Church Yard on Monday to remember Lucy Jane Saint.

Ms Saint’s niece Megan Avery, 88, and great nephew Mark travelled from Northampton to be at the service.

Ms Saint, aged 23, served as an assistant waitress in Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps during the First World War.

But she was taken ill with flu in October 1918 and was admitted to The Royal Victoria Hospital, Boscombe where she died of pneumonia with her mother and other relations at her bedside. She was buried at Llanfihangel Pontymoel (St Michael) Churchyard on Usk Road, Pontymoel.

Having died in service, she was entitled to her grave being marked by a Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s (CWGC) formal headstone.

However, it appears her parents chose a family memorial, but the grave is listed as a war grave. It was inaccessible until recently when a footpath was cleared by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Torfaen veterans have been remembering those who died on Remembrance Day by placing poppy crosses on graves, and this was the first time that this grave has been included.

Ms Avery placed a poppy cross on the grave helped by pupil, Jaea Watkins of George Street School- Ms Saint’s former school.

Being classed medically fit, Ms Saint appears to have enlisted at Bristol on October 1, 1917 and was posted to Christchurch, attached to the 5th Reserve Battalion, Royal Engineers.