My great-un­cle was just 10 when he saved my nan from the arms of their dead mum

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS -

My great-un­cle Ernest was just 10 years old when he saved my nan as she lay in her dead mother’s arms.

The words on the Daily

Mir­ror front page read: “A deed of splen­did hero­ism was per­formed by a boy dur­ing the progress of Satur­day’s air raid. Mrs Hall and her six chil­dren were seated in the lower back room when a bomb fell in the gar­den, killing Mrs

Hall and one of her sons.

“Ernest, the el­dest boy, with great pres­ence of mind, res­cued the baby un­in­jured from its dead mother.

“No other chil­dren were in­jured, and the front of the house was not dam­aged. The hus­band is at present serv­ing in France.”

Mrs Hall was my great-gran, 32-year-old Ma­bel, and the sev­en­month-old baby in her arms was my nan, El­iz­a­beth, who was known as Babs – be­cause she al­ways re­mained the baby of the fam­ily. My great-grand­fa­ther, also named Ernest, only found out about the death of his wife and six-year-old son Percy, who was killed in­stantly, when he saw the Mir­ror while on duty in France. We be­lieve he came home on com­pas­sion­ate leave, but was killed in ac­tion less than a year later aged 33, on Au­gust 8, 1918, leav­ing five chil­dren or­phaned, in­clud­ing my grand­mother.

The thing that has al­ways struck me

TRIED TO ATONE Christo­pher shot cruel of­fi­cer. His Bi­ble, in­set WOUNDED Cor­po­ral Gun­ner Ernest King David Mid­dle­ton, 62, from Chester­field, re­veals the deathbed se­cret which plagued grand­fa­ther Christo­pher all his life. Michael King, 79, of Wood­bridge, Suf­folk, says his dad Ernest James King had a war sou­venir with him all his life – shrap­nel in his head. BROOD Mum Ma­bel with Babs. Back row from left, Wal­ter, Edie and Ernest. Front, Percy, seated, who also died, and Ma­bel SELF­LESS Aun­tie with the or­phans. From left, hero Ernest, Wal­ter, Ma­bel and Edie. Babs in Aun­tie’s arms. Right, Daily Mir­ror Si­mon Dale, 47, from East London, shares the heart­break­ing story of his great-grand­par­ents, who made the front page of the Daily Mir­ror on Oc­to­ber 1, 1917. SAVED Nan Babs in 1976, top, and Si­mon

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