A proud Sheffield grandson is to parade his grandad’s war medals for the first time at an Armistice Day service in Belgium.
Joe Dunn is preparing to travel to Ypres where he will join a Poppy Parade to march to The Menin Gate – a war memorial dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in Ypres in World War One and whose graves are unknown.
Along the moving route, Joe will wear the medals awarded to his late grandfather, Louis Kossuth Mason, for his dedication and bravery while serving in the Army, including his efforts in the Battles of Ypres.
Joe, aged 66, from Grenoside, said: “I will display my medal for service in the British Army on my left and my grandfather’s medals on the right and will have a tremendous sense of pride.
“Being a soldier was my grandfather’s life and what he and the other men went through was horrendous.
“I wanted to wait until 2014, 100 years after the beginning of the war, to parade his medals and to do so in a place that he fought.”
According to Joe, Louis joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1898.
During the First World War, he fought in both the First and Second Battles of Ypres and was one of few survivors.
Joe said: “My grandfather’s division was virtually wiped out.
“How they hung on, I don’t know. The Germans didn’t get any further though – they did not take Ypres.
“After going through all that unharmed, he later fell off his bike and broke his nose in three places.”
During his years of service, Louis was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry twice – the first for bringing wounded soldiers back from no man’s land while under fire.
He also received the Queen South Africa Medal and three medals from The Great War.
Louis visited his family in Sheffield at Christmas 1916 and returned to duty in January 1917.
Four months later he died in action, aged 39.