Heirlooms make hell of Somme trenches hard to forget

As family heirlooms go, Lillian Garland has a couple that are hard to beat.

Monday, 4th July 2016, 8:17 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:23 am
Lillian Garland with the brass plate and paper knife made by her father while in the trenches during the Somme. Picture: Derek Martin

The 95-year-old from Mill Road, Worthing, is the owner of a brass plate and paper knife that were made by her father while he was in the trenches during the Battle of the Somme.

Sydney Charles Roberts fought in the First World War in the 7th Division.

Lillian said that she remembers her father telling her stories about the war: “When I was young he talked about the war very much.

Lillian's father made the plate in the trenches of the First World War. Picture: Derek Martin

“He was down in the east trenches, and they had a signal to get out and go over the top of the trenches, but one by one they all fell. He said they thought they were just falling over but they were actually being shot.

“He lost most of the men in his regiment in that way.”

Sydney survived the trenches, and went on to fight in the Second World War.

He gave the knife and plate to his daughter, and she in turn gave them to her son David.

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