The Military Army Blog

Somme veteran remembered in village service

18:16 18 July 2016

Somme Veteran Remembered In Village Service

David Thistlethwaite wearing his father’s war helmet. Archant

A Yatton man has paid tribute to his father, who fought in the Battle of the Somme during World War One, by wearing his army helmet during a service in the village to mark the 100th anniversary of the landmark battle.

To send a link to this page you must be logged in. David Thistlethwaite wore his father s helmet while laying a wreath at the village s war memorial on July 1, as it was on this day in 1916 when British and French troops fought the Germans in a bloody battle over 141 days, covering a 15-mile-long front.

David s father, John Andrew Thistlethwaite, joined the Territorial Army in 1912, aged 16, and went on to serve as part of the 143rd Warwickshire Brigade. Once war was declared in 1914, Mr Thistlethwaite was sent to France and served as a machine gunner within the 48th Division of the Territorial Army. David told the Times his father eventually became a Second Lieutenant and served in both France and northern Italy.

He said: He was located north of the line, in Hebuterne in France, but it was part of the same advance.

He did used to talk about it as he was not wounded or anything. He stayed there right until 1919. David, aged 84, said his father managed to bring most of his kit home after the war and he had taken particular care of his helmet ever since. He said he felt it was only right to wear the helmet in honour of his father s service on the anniversary. David said: He carried his helmet all the way through and he wore it on that fateful morning of July 1.

He had all these medals as well but I did not wear those on the day, as they were issued at the end of the war.

I thought I would stick to what he was doing on that day in 1916.

I felt very proud.

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