THREE generations of relatives of a First World War soldier who was awarded the Military Cross travelled to Dodworth for a ceremony marking the centenary of his death in battle on Saturday.
Lieutenant Thomas Westby MC of the Royal Marine Machine Gun Corps was remembered on Saturday, the day of the centenary, with a cross laying ceremony at Dodworth war memorial, attended by a crowd of about 40.
It followed research into all the names on the memorial by members of the Barnsley U3A Family History Group.
Member Terry Brown, whose own grandfather Henry Wilkinson Brown is named on the memorial, said: “We had his nephew, great nephew and great-great nephew with us, and they’d travelled from Hampshire, Devon and York,” said Terry, 71, of Cone Lane, Silkstone Common.
“The family actually brought his Military Cross to the ceremony.
“When you do this research, you do get into that person. It’s a carved name, but you do create a character in there, and so to handle his medal was really quite emotional.
“It was quite a good turnout, and I think everybody appreciated it, especially the family, who had travelled a long way to be there and I am sure they thought it worthwhile.”
Lt Westby was awarded the Military Cross in November 1917 for earlier gallantry at Passchendaele on October 26.
He was killed in action on December 30 1917, aged 22.
The group has found archive film footage of the investiture ceremony when the King, George V, personally presented the Military Cross to Thomas’s family in Leeds in May 1918. This was shown as part of a display of the group’s research at Dodworth Methodist Chapel following the ceremony.
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Ceremony remembers First World War soldier who died in battle
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