Animal cemetery to be restored after lottery award

The final resting place of war hero Simon the cat is among the animal graves that will soon be open for public visits, thanks to a Big Lottery Fund grant.

Simon, who survived wounding by shellblasts while serving as a rat catcher on HMS Amethyst, is buried at the PDSA's animal cemetery in Ilford, Essex.

The animal charity was awarded £50,000 of lottery money to renovate the cemetery after winning a viewers' poll on ITV's People's Millions.

The cemetery is closed after falling into disrepair, with many graves unmarked and headstones weathered and broken. It is the final resting place of about 3,000 animals, including 12 recipients of the PDSA Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent to the Victoria Cross.

Clare Evans, head of communications at PDSA, said: "I'd like to thank everyone who voted. It's the first time we have received lottery funding."

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