Grandson's debt of thanks to villagers
By Rebecca SheppardTHE grandson of the only British soldier killed in a French village is preparing to thank the people who have carefully tended his grandfather's grave for 60 years.
By Rebecca Sheppard
THE grandson of the only British soldier killed in a French village is preparing to thank the people who have carefully tended his grandfather's grave for 60 years.
Albert Haughton was killed at the age of 44 in the village of La Chapel Yvon, near Normandy, just months after D-Day.
His loving wife decided to leave the body of her husband where he had fallen rather than transfer him to a military cemetery and the grave has been maintained by villagers ever since.
You may also want to watch:
His grandson David Haughton, from Somersham, said: "He died in September 1944 and then when my grandmother died in 1954 her last wishes were to have her ashes scattered on his grave.
"To scatter the ashes he had to have permission from the French embassy. For years my father had not been near the grave. He wanted to go again about six years ago and one of my customers lived just down the road to where he was buried, about 10km away.
- 1 Edmundson ruled out of opener as Cook discusses 'four, five or six' more transfers
- 2 Swimmers report sickness symptoms after dip in Suffolk river
- 3 Haverhill firm goes into liquidation with just £2.42 in the bank
- 4 'A rut had set in and it needed to change... we will have got one or two wrong' - Cook on his Ipswich Town squad cull
- 5 Evans on Town's 'powerful' mantra, not shying away from favourites tag and working under Cook again
- 6 Suffolk pub reopens with exclusive Champagne carvery
- 7 Woman in 20s dies in single car crash on A12 in Suffolk
- 8 New plans for village cafe, shop and business units divide opinion
- 9 Nearly 20,000 parking fines since council took control of enforcement
"She went to the village when she went back and she went to see the lady at the local shop and asked who looked after the grave as it was all covered in flowers.
"It was a family who had looked after the grave through the War Commission, I think, for many years. So I took my father over there just to meet all the people that looked after the grave and we all became quite good friends."
Mr Haughton said a commemoration service would by held on June 6 - the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings - by the village war memorial.
"They have invited us over and I am doing a speech and we are giving a seat with a plaque on it to say thank you," he added.
"There was one Frenchman, who was a member of the Free French Airforce, who paid for flowers on the grave to the end of his life."
Mr Haughton said his speech of gratitude had been difficult to compose, not least because he does not speak French.
"When I go there, it's a funny sort of feeling. He died 16 years before I was born, but I feel quite emotional about it, especially because my grandmother's ashes are there as well," he added.
Mr Haughton will visit the French community with his wife, his father Peter, who was 15 years old when Albert was killed, and his uncle Alan.
His grandfather served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and was working with tank recovery units when he was killed.