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 Barnsley Army vets pay their respects on Remembrance weekend

Barnsley Army vets pay their respects on Remembrance weekend

By 15th November, 2023 Press Releases No Comments

VETERANS of the armed forces were among those paying their respects at the Mapplewell and Staincross War Memorial, in Barnsley, over Remembrance weekend.

William “Bill” Dyson, 84, served in the Royal Army Ordinance Corps for 27 years, from 1947, receiving medals for services in Cyprus, Belize, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Belfast and Londonderry, in Northern Ireland.

He was joined by Ian Dickinson, 91, who joined the 5th Royal Tank Regiment when he was 25 years old, serving for two years and supporting new recruits as an education sergeant.

Both Bill and Ian, who live at Deangate Care Home, Towngate, Mapplewell, Barnsley, were joined by activities coordinator Rachael Addy when they visited the memorial. Ian was also accompanied by his daughter, Clare, as they paid their respects to armed forces members who have died in the line of duty.

Bill, who was a highly respected sergeant and vehicle specialist, wore his uniform and medals for the occasion, when he laid a cross bearing a message from all the residents at the care home.

He said: “I feel honoured to visit the memorial on Remembrance weekend. The cross represents all those that fell before us and they will not be forgotten.

“It’s a privilege to wear my uniform. I wear it in pride for the service that I provided this country.”

Recalling his days of service, Bill said: “I could drive anything. Tanks, jeeps, cars. I once got the chance to fly a helicopter. Granted it was only a couple of minutes taking over the controls.

“I travelled to many places in my 27 years in the Army. I only ever fired one bullet though and that was when I was serving in Belize. And I missed. I could hit a target though.”

Ian used to visit a cenotaph in Morecombe with his wife, Margot, and his family on Remembrance Sunday. The couple used to lay a special poppy for Margot’s grandfather, who fought in the Second World War.

Due to his wife’s ill health and Ian moving to Deangate Care Home, he was unable to take part in his usual tradition this year. Instead, he laid a poppy at the Mapplewell memorial as a mark of respect.

Ian said: “If those brave souls had not fought in those many wars for us, where would we be now? They have given us freedom and gave us the tools to be a proud nation.

“Look at how many young men lost their lives. It’s a small village. It is so sad but I am so grateful to them.”

After observing two minutes of silence and looking around the monument, the group stopped at The Talbot Inn, in Mapplewell, for a pint. The landlord offered the gents a complementary glass of port each for their service to the country. After they had finished, another patron offered them a drink of their choice.

Bill and Ian shared stories about their respective regiments and reminisced about times gone by before returning to Deangate Care Home.

Activities coordinator Rachael said: “It has been an honour to take the gents out and see how much the fallen meant to them. They are so grateful to the brave men and women that served this country and for the great friends and memories they created whilst serving in the Army themselves.

“From everyone at Deangate Care Home, thank you, thank you, thank you to all those who have served and continue to serve in the Armed Forces.”

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