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Lest We Forget

Remembering two of my mother’s half brothers today.

Albert Edward Townley

Uncle Albert, aged 22, was killed during the Battle of Jutland. Mum was only eight when the news of his death reached the family but remembered very clearly how their mother went temporarily insane from grief and never really got over it. As well as being remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Uncle Albert’s name appears in the York Book of Heroes held at York Minster and twice on the war memorial in Rydings Park, Brighouse. On one side he appears under his own name and on another as Albert Edward HORSFALL, the surname of his stepfather. I don’t – and probably never shall – know all the ins and outs of that part of our family history, but I believe that bad feeling between the two of them led to Albert’s moving out to live with relatives of his mother’s in York.

Uncle George's wedding

George Manuel Horsfall, born to my grandfather’s first wife, a Spanish lady, served in the trenches while still under age, was badly wounded by shrapnel but lived on into his 90s. He never fully recovered the use of one of his arms but that didn’t stop him, amongst other things, from running a chicken farm and later working as a gardener for a well known actor. Uncle George and his wife Louise, shown above on their wedding day, had a long and happy marriage.

4 August, 2014 - Make the first comment on this story

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