Baxenden Lads: Kavanagh W

11th August 1946

CPL. 7959362 WILFRED KAVANAGH of the 16th/5th Lancers, Royal Armoured Corps, died in an accident on August 11th 1946 whilst on garrison duties in Austria. It was just a year after the end of the Second World War. Wilfred had served in the heavy fighting in Italy during the advance to Austria.

Wilfred was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Bessie) Kavanagh, and before his enlistment lived with his mother at Rising Bridge. (N.B. Wilfred’s mother, a staunch and lifelong worker for St. John’s Church, Baxenden, was the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. H. Todd of School House, Baxenden. She therefore lost her brother Walter in 1916) Before he was called into the Army, Wilfred was for some time the church organist at St. John’s Church, Baxenden.

Wilfred is buried in Klagenfurt War Cemetery, Austria. Klagenfurt is a picturesque country town dependent mostly on agriculture and tourism. The War Cemetery is some two miles west of the town in the narrow valley at the head of the Worth See (lake). It is surrounded by rich pasture and agricultural land dotted with groups of silver birch and spruce, whilst nearby there are fine poplars. It is the only British war cemetery in Austria, and consequently is a relatively large one with 589 graves.