Global appeal of Regiment’s statue unveiling and Army life really has been a family affair for the five!

Great granddaughter Dawn Bray was interviewed… 

Four granddaughters and the great grand daughter of Corp William Gartside are proud to share their story.  The family of Corporal William Gartside hope to be making an emotional trip to West Yorkshire from Australia when the statue commemorating the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment is unveiled next year.

“As an Australian, I find it difficult to reconcile that the Dukes are not already commemorated in this way.“Every small town in Australia has a WWI memorial with the names of the fallen and local regiments have been honoured for decades.“This is why our family have made a contribution to the commissioning of the memo- rial, which will take pride of place in Halifax’s town centre.

“I call on all other members of the Dukes family to give what they can, even if it is a few pounds, on behalf of our brave forefathers and to honour their courage and service which has given the Regiment such a proud name.

Frear brothers who have all served….

It’s often said that the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment is like a family, but the Frears really were brothers-in-arms. All five of the siblings, from Cleckheaton, served in the regiment, with eldest brother Ken first, although he died in service aged just 19 in 1956. He was followed by Robert, John, Cliff and Christopher, all of whom are fiercely proud of their Dukes connection.“There is one other family I’m aware of that (in the Dukes) had five brothers,” says Cliff, 70.“It makes the family connection even tighter. We had some good days and bad days.

And the brothers also agree next year’s statue to the Dukes, to be situated at Woolshops in Halifax, will be a fine tribute.“The memorial means everlasting life doesn’t it?” adds Cliff. “Now the Duke of Wellington’s name will live on for- ever, which is very important.

“I think it’s a super idea,” says Chris. “The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment were, without a doubt, the finest regiment in the British Army for lots of things.

“Everything about it was really, really good and it’s a fitting memorial.”