‘Grandad was just a ‘Cas Lad’ and a war hero’

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The grandson of a Castleford soldier who received the country’s highest military honour has visited a display in memory of his grandfather.

Alex Weston journeyed from Blackpool to Castleford Library, with his wife Patricia, to see memorabilia commemorating the actions of his late relative Thomas Bryan.

Mr Bryan, who joined the Northumberland Fusiliers during the First World War, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions to disable a machine gun during an attack on June 9, 1917.

The library display is designed to commemorate the centenary of Mr Bryan receiving the honour from King George V on June 17, 1917.

Alan Austin, a member of Castleford Breakfast Club, which organised the display alongside Armed Forces Champion Coun Sandra Pickin and Castleford Civic Trust, said: “Thomas Bryan moved from the West Midlands to Castleford at three-years-old.

“He was 33 when he signed up in 1915, whilst working as a miner at Whitwood Colliery.

“Members of the breakfast club wanted to do something to honour him, and when we found out he had living family, we were keen to invite them to be a part of it.

“Mr Weston classes his grandad as a ‘Cas lad’ and he was really touched to see that Castleford is remembering him. Mr Bryan was a very, very brave man.”

Mr and Mrs Weston will also attend a memorial event in the town on the 100 year anniversary of Mr Bryan receiving hismedal.

A parade of veterans will march from the Royal British Legion Club to the library, where a short service will take place and a Castleford Civic Trust blue plaque honouring Mr Bryan will be unveiled by Lord St Oswald. Guests on the day will include Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Mr M. Sayles Fox and the Padre of the 5 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Major J Walley.