Two ex-soldiers, speaking ahead of Sunday’s Remembrance Day, have pledged to remember the friends they lost in the wars they fought in.
Cyril Haldenby, 95, of Sowerby Bridge, and Toby Thorpe, 33, of Halifax, both fought for the Queen and country in times of conflict.
Ahead of Sunday’s remembrance services and parades, we spoke to both men at Halifax Royal British Legion coffee morning where they were meeting with members.
For Mr Thorpe, it was the first coffee morning he’s attended since leaving the army in July due to sustained sporting injuries resulting in the former soldier needing leg realignment and a partial knee replacement.
Mr Thorpe gave 16-years service to the force and has fought in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Northern Island and Afghanistan - with his most recent six-month deployment to Afghanistan.
On Sunday, Mr Thorpe will be watching Halifax parade with his eight-year-old son Ollie.
“It’s important to remember the soldiers past and present that have fought and given their lives to this country,” said the former soldier who now works part-time for Royal Mail but is searching for full-time work.
“I will be remembering the friends that have died in wars, over the years,” he said.
Mr Thorpe has joined the British Legion as a volunteer to meet with others who have a shared experience, he said.
Enjoying a cup of tea with his wife Margaret and Mr Thorpe, is Cyril Haldenby who fought for five years in World War 2, 1939-45.
“From Aldershot, I was posted to France where I fought in the second World War.
“On Christmas Eve, 1944, I was on convoy in Belgium when I was injured in both legs. I was then discharged from the army and have walked with crutches ever since,” said the 95-year-old veteran.
“It’s important that people know what happened and pay their respects, on Sunday and all year round - the soldiers that lost their lives in battle should not be forgotten,” said Mr Haldenby.