ARMISTICE Day is a personal commemoration for one Huddersfield care home resident – born in the wake of the First World War.
Maude Thornton was born just seven days after the signing of the armistice, on 11th November 1918, between the Allies of the First World War and Germany.
Now living at Aden Court Care Home, on Birkhouse Lane, Moldgreen, she will be among millions across the UK marking the annual commemoration.
However, for Maude, who turns 102 on 18th November, it is also an occasion to remember her father’s and husband’s service in both the First and Second World Wars, respectively.
Willy Percival enlisted in the army after the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. He served until the war ended in 1918 and returned home to his family, in time for his daughter Maude’s birth.
Eighteen years later, Maude met her future husband, Roy Thornton, who was working at the same place as her father. They were married two years later, on 27th May 1939.
Just three months after their big day, Britain declared war on Germany on 3rd September and on 15th January 1940 Roy joined the fight.
He served for six years and four months, initially in the Royal Artillery attached to the Gordon Highlanders and later during the Burma campaign.
While Roy was away fighting, Maude lived with his parents, at Mill House, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield. She said: “It was a long time for a newly married couple.”
Roy returned home to his wife in 1946 and the pair led a happy life, having three children, 10 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and 15 great great grandchildren.
Maude moved to Aden Court Care Home in January 2019. She helped fellow residents and staff put together a display to mark Armistice Day this year, which includes poppies, silhouettes of soldiers and homemade signs saying, “Lest We Forget” and “Remembrance Day”.
She said: “The display we put on makes me happy to know that we can sit here and think of our loved ones we lost and give thanks to those that fought for us to be here. It looks really good.”
Maria Wells, activities coordinator at Aden Court Care Home, said: “All our residents and staff mark Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day each year.
“It is an occasion for everyone to pay their respects and thanks to those who have served in every conflict from the First World War onwards.
“For one of our residents, Maude Thornton, it also brings back memories of both her father’s and husband’s service during the two biggest conflicts the world has ever known.
“She is able to celebrate that both came home but many sons, husbands and fathers did not and this week we should remember those who gave their lives to make the world a safer place for everyone.”