Sheffield couple’s trip to war grave in Denmark

Pauline and  Michael Connelly
Pauline and Michael Connelly
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The granddaughter of a soldier who was starved at a prisoner of war camp is to visit his grave almost 100 years after his death.

When researching her family tree, Pauline Connelly discovered her grandfather Charles Hurt was taken to a German camp called Gustrow, after being captured in France during the First World War.

Letters sent from Charles to his wife revealed that he, along with other prisoners of war, were kept in terrible conditions and given just one piece of bread a day.

His weight dropped from ten stone to six.

Just months later Pauline’s grandmother was informed that her husband had died at the age 32, and told that he’d been buried in Tinglev, Denmark, along with eight fellow comrades who’d perished at German camps.

Now Pauline and her husband Michael have arranged to visit the graveyard to pay their respects, not only to their late relative but also to the other victims who lie side by side.

“It broke my heart when I discovered how he died,” said Pauline, aged 67, from Crookes in Sheffield.

“Those heroes who died in the camps suffered terribly and were deprived of so many things.

“They deserve to be remembered the same as those that lost their lives in action. They gave their tomorrows for our today.

“My dad was only three at the time of my grandfather’s death and my grandmother remarried so I’m sure they didn’t visit the grave.”

Charles, who lived in the Parkwood Springs area of Sheffield, was a reservist in the Kings Royal Rifles when he was called up to join the war in August 1914.

He was taken prisoner of war on November 3 and died on April 8, 1915.

Pauline added: “When I am there I will close my eyes and also think of my father who fought and survived in the Second World War, and know that I am doing something that he never had the opportunity to do.”