Blaenavon schoolboy to visit relative's First World War grave
10:16am Monday 14th April 2014 in News
A BLAENAVON schoolboy is visiting the memorial of a relative who died in the First World War.
Jake Tidley, 16, is due to return from a school trip to Ypres with Abersychan School today.
The trip is to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the war.
He is looking to locate the Menin Gate Memorial, on which George Turner is remembered.
His grandfather, Terry Tidley, said it would be an emotional occasion to see the memorial.
“Hopefully, Jake will be able to get a photograph,” said Mr Tidley, who has been researching his family tree for more than 20 years.
The pair use to take trips to St Catherine’s House in London to search records.
Mr Tidley, 71, said: “We used to travel to London to read through the books and you had to have dates to go by otherwise you wouldn’t know where to start.
“But now with the internet searching is much easier.”
One of their findings was that Mrs Tidley’s uncle, George Turner, had died in the Second Battle of Ypres in May 1915, age 29.
Although Mr Turner’s body was never found, Mr Turner is remembered on panel 37 of the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.
The memorial is located at the eastern exit of the town and marks the starting point for one of the main roads out of the town that led Allied soldiers to the front line.
The Second Battle of Ypres was fought from April 21 – May 25, 1915 for control of the town, following the First Battle of Ypres the previous autumn.
It marked the first mass use by Germany of poison gas on the Western Front.
Mr Tidley added: “My grandfather used to speak of him and I remember his plaque on the mantel piece growing up.
“It’s nice to be able to talk to Jake about it and to have some family history to tell him.”
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