A Hertfordshire man has travelled to Belgium in honour of a fallen soldier.

Graham Ellis made the trip from the village of Aston - near Stevenage - to Ypres in Belgium, in order to visit the grave of Herbert Cooper.

Cooper was 18 years old when he was killed on November 2, 1915, during the First World War.

The Aston man has since been buried at the Spoilbank Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in Ypres.

The Comet: A poppy wreath had been donated by The Salvation Army.A poppy wreath had been donated by The Salvation Army. (Image: Graham Ellis)

Graham Ellis, also from Aston, was gardening outside his property when local historian Simon Izzard stopped by.

Simon explained how Herbert Cooper's name was never added to Aston's village war memorial, due to it being located within the grounds of St Mary’s Church.

The soldier's parents were not religious, and were therefore against his name being included.

However, the local historian told Graham how he had recently tracked down a relative of the soldier, who had given permission for his name to finally be included in the memorial.

To mark this development, Izzard asked Graham whether he would be interested in visiting Herbert Cooper's grave, to say some words of remembrance.

Simon was aware of the 52-year-old's participation in the village's motorcycle club.

The Comet: Graham said that the cemetery had been "beautifully cared for".Graham said that the cemetery had been "beautifully cared for". (Image: Graham Ellis)

Graham - along with friends Paul and Tareq - then arranged a three-day trip, and asked the people of Aston for suggestions on how best to remember Herbert's life.

Spreading soil from the village on Aston's grave, reciting Rupert Brooke's poem 'The Soldier' and delivering a poppy wreath from Stevenage's Royal British Legion were all suggested.

Following a coronavirus-related delay, the trio's journey was finally completed last month.

Graham said of their time at the cemetery: "I spoke to Herbert and explained that we had travelled by motorbike from his home village of Aston to pay our respects.

"I sprinkled a jar of soil that I had collected from the woodland around Aston, placed a poppy wreath that the Salvation Army had kindly supplied, and I read him the poem - 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke - which was published in 1915, the same year of Herbert’s death.

"It was a very moving experience, and I am so glad we took the time to remember and honour Herbert Cooper, the lost son of Aston."