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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Maryport teen lays wreath in Belgium in honour of fallen soldier

A Maryport girl followed in the footsteps of her grandmother and sister by laying a wreath at an ancestor’s war memorial in Belgium.

wreath laying
Netherhall School pupil Bethany Routledge, 15, layed a wreath at the Menin Gate, Belgium, to commemorate her distant relative Charles Brown, who died at the age of 19 in a WW1 battle. Bethany is pictured with, from left, her grandma Ellen Drysdale, great-grandma and Charles's niece Rhoda Orr, 92, and mum Rondey Routledge.

Bethany Routledge, 15, of The Netherdales, went on a GCSE history trip to see the World War One battlefields and graveyards.

She laid a wreath at the Last Post Ceremony in memory of her great-great-great-uncle Charles Brown, of Grasslot, who died aged 18 in July 1915 and was the first fatality in his battalion.

The ceremony takes place at 8pm daily at the Menin Gate in Ypres. Crowds gather to hear volunteers from the fire service play a salute to war victims.

Private Brown, who served in the 7th Border Regiment, had his name inscribed on the gates along with 54,000 Allied soldiers who have no known graves.

Bethany’s sister Danielle, 19, went on the same history trip four years ago and laid a wreath, and their grandmother Ellen Drysdale, 68, laid a wreath during a holiday two years ago.

Bethany said: “I was so proud to lay the wreath in memory of him. Me and my sister have said we’d like to go back with our mum and grandmother.”

Mrs Drysdale, of The Netherdales, has talked with Bethany about their shared experience.

She said: “I am very proud that my granddaughters laid wreaths for him.”

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