By Leah Conway – KLTV Contributor
Each year we remember, we wear our poppies, we hold our two-minute silence; we remember on a national and community level. However, it is also a chance to remember and honour people on a personal level.
Maude Thornton is a resident of Aden Court Care Home, Moldgreen, has done just that.
Maude was born 18 November 1918 and will turn 102 this month. Remembrance Day marks an important day for Maude, as it does for millions of others across the UK. It is an occasion in which she remembers and honours her father’s and husband’s service in both the First and Second World Wars, respectively.
Maude’s father, Willy Percival, enlisted in the army after the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
Willy served until the war ended in 1918 and returned home to his family. Right in time for his daughter Maude’s birth.
Eighteen years later, Maude met her future husband, Roy Thornton, who was working at the same place as her father. They were married two years later, on 27 May 1939.
A short three months after their wedding, Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September. On 15 January 1940, Roy joined the fight.
He served for six years and four months, initially in the Royal Artillery attached to the Gordon Highlanders and later during the Burma campaign.
While Roy was away fighting, Maude lived with his parents, at Mill House, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield. She said: “It was a long time for a newly married couple.”
Roy returned home to his wife in 1946. They led a happy life and had three children, ten grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren.
In January 2019, Maude moved to Aden Court Care Home. Since then she has helped staff and fellow residents put together a display to mark Remembrance Day this year. The display includes lots of poppies, silhouettes of soldiers and even homemade signs saying, “Lest We Forget” and “Remembrance Day”.
Maude commented: “The display we put on makes me happy to know that we can sit here and think of our loved ones we lost and give thanks to those that fought for us to be here. It looks really good.”
Maria Wells, the activities coordinator at Aden Court Care Home, said: “All our residents and staff mark Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day each year.
“It is an occasion for everyone to pay their respects and thanks to those who have served in every conflict from the First World War onwards.
“For one of our residents, Maude Thornton, it also brings back memories of both her father’s and husband’s service during the two biggest conflicts the world has ever known.
“She is able to celebrate that both came home, but many sons, husbands and fathers did not, and this week we should remember those who gave their lives to make the world a safer place for everyone.”