Leicester

Leicestershire WW1 hero's unmarked grave honoured

Sgt Thomas Marston MM headstone Image copyright ww1tigers/bbc
Image caption Regiment historian Richard Lane found Sgt Thomas Marston's grave without a headstone

A World War One hero whose grave was unmarked for almost a century has been honoured with a headstone.

Sgt Thomas Marston MM, from Loughborough, who was awarded medals for bravery, died in 1922 from the long term effects of gas poisoning he suffered on the frontline.

The Royal Leicestershire Regiment has now bought the plot after its historian confirmed the location of his grave.

A memorial was held to "do him justice in his great heroism in battle".

Image copyright Family Handout/BBC
Image caption Sgt Marston's granddaughters did not know where he was buried

Members of Sgt Marston's family, along with veterans and the Mayor of Charnwood gathered at Loughborough Cemetery.

Historian Richard Lane spoke about the soldier's bravery: "He got round them... and started shooting the German with his own machine gun and put them on the run."

He went on to win two bars, the equivalent of two further medals, for his bravery under fire in battle.

His obituary appeared in a national newspaper when he died at the age of 38.

Two of Sgt Marston's granddaughters learnt about him when their father, also a decorated soldier, died.

Granddaughter Carol Withers said: "There was quite a nice piece written in the paper. I didn't really realise what an important part my grandfather played until I read it."

Image caption Some of Sgt Marston's family and veterans gathered at Loughborough Cemetery for the service

The regiment commissioned the headstone which was donated by a local stonemason.

Granddaughter Jackie Marston, said: "I am so, so proud, I could be moved to tears.

"He is finally in a marked grave and I know if my father was looking down now, he would be proud too."

The soldier's great great grandson wore his medals to the service.

At the memorial, Royal Tigers' Association president Brigadier Andrew Fisher said: "We feel the need to honour and re-awaken his memory."

Image caption Royal Leicestershire Regiment commissioned the black marble headstone

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