125-year-old socks to honour hero

Published: 12th August 2014

125-year-old socks to honour hero

A tribute with a difference is being paid to the first beneficiary of the greatest Commonwealth military honour given for bravery.

The family of Maurice Dease, who won the prestigious Victoria Cross, are returning to the scene of his heroic First World War death in Mons, Belgium, 100 years after the event.

And one of the lieutenant's relations will mark the occasion by wearing 125-year-old socks.

They are the same socks that Lieutenant Dease wore as a baby.

The footwear is being donned by Lilly French, granddaughter of the late lieutenant's nephew, 84-year-old Maurice French, of Warminster, Wilts. The Frenches have kept much of the old soldier's memorabilia, including the historic socks.

Lieutenant Dease, who won his medal for commanding his unit in the face of being wounded on three occasions, was one of the conflict's first fatalities on August 23, 1914.

Lily will be one-year-old herself on Monday's (August 18) anniversary when the Frenches visit the battlefield.

The family will be joined by Belgium's Prime Minister and someone from Britain's royal family for official commemorations.

Mr French, a former fusilier himself, says his whole family feels incredible pride and that it will be "wonderful" to pay tribute to his uncle in Belgium.

A tribute with a difference is being paid to the first beneficiary of the greatest Commonwealth military honour given for bravery.
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