Two Warwick men finally on roll of honour

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The names of a corporal from the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and a Royal Marine were finally added to Warwick’s war memorial in time for Sunday’s Remembrance Day service.

Corporal Charles Biddle, who grew up in Brook Street, Warwick, died in 1917 of wounds sustained at Ypres in First World War. He was aged 23.

Graham Gillingham, who was born in nearby George Road, died 45 years later during a ‘friendly fire’ incident in Brunei at the start of Britain’s involvement in the war in Borneo.

It was Christmas Eve and Graham - or Gilly as he was known to his friends - was aged 20. No less a figure than the Sultan of Brunei paid for Graham’s body to be creamated and his ashes sent back to his mother Joan.

On Sunday only a few people would have noticed the two extra plaques added to the memorial in Church Street as hundreds turned out to pay their respects and watch the parade of soldiers from Kineton Station along with representatives of naval and air corps, civic leaders and local scouts, guides and brigades.

But David Bradshaw, who has been battling with the town council for the past five years to get Graham’s name added to the memorial, felt the honour was long overdue.

Mr Bradshaw, who has written a letter in the paper about the Armistice Day service in Leamington, said: “More importantly, Graham’s 92-year-old aunt, Brenda Fulford, his counsins and comrades, will feel justice has been done to his memory.”

Mrs Fulford, who still lives in Warwick, still vividly remembers the horror of hearing the news of her nephew’s death at a family Christmas day party.

She said: “We’re so grateful to Mr Bradshaw for making sure Graham is no longer left off the town memorial - I’ll be paying my own respects at a quieter time later this week.”