Soldier will not be forgotten

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A very special poppy is a poignant reminder that the sacrifice of a soldier will never be forgotten.

The memory of Blackpool First World War soldier Thomas P Longworth is cherished by his relative Liz Pearson, of Bonds, Garstang.

Elizabeth (Liz) Pearson shows Canon Greenall   the ceramic poppy bought in memory of her relative Frederick Hindle

Elizabeth (Liz) Pearson shows Canon Greenall the ceramic poppy bought in memory of her relative Frederick Hindle

So much so that she purchased a ceramic poppy, from the recent spectacular memorial installation at the Tower of London.

She said: “I bought the poppy in memory of my great uncle Thomas P Longworth who is remembered on the war memorials in Garstang and Calder Vale.”

Mr Longworth was a seasider but came to Garstang to work.

Liz added: “Thomas was born in Blackpool.

“He came to Garstang to work as a blacksmith on the Grizedale Lea Reservoir project and met and married my great-great aunt Mary [Polly] Longworth nee Hindle at Park Farm in Barnacre in 1910.

“Thomas went to war in 1915 and was killed at the Battle of Lys on April 9 1918, aged 35.

“He is listed as missing in France and named on the Tyne Cott Memorial.

“The family grave is in the United Reformed Churchyard in Garstang.”

She added: “We have learned quite a lot about Thomas this year from War Records, local historians and family memories but have not found any photographs.”

Tragically, the couple’s only son Robert was killed in a car accident in 1923 aged just 11.

The Tower poppy installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red was created by artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper. Some 888,246 ceramic poppies progressively filled the Tower’s moat to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The poppies filled the Tower’s moat between July 17 and November 11 last year, with each poppy representing a British military fatality during the war.

All of the poppies that made up the installation were sold, raising millions of pounds which were shared equally among six service charities – The Royal British Legion, SSAFA which supports servicemen and their families, Help for Heroes, Coming Home, Combat Stress, and Cobseo, which co-ordinates organisations working in the Service Charity sector.