Remembering family's triple war tragedy

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FEW British families survived the First World War unscathed, and the 100th anniversary has seen York woman Daphne Doran commemorate a recently discovered family tragedy of the conflict.

Mrs Doran, of Woodthorpe, has paid tribute to three her great-uncles, killed within months of each other in the first 10 months of the war.

The trio - Sgt William Thomas Dinsdale, Pte George Dinsdale, and Pte Frank Dinsdale - were cousins of her grandfather, who himself survived the trenches but never spoke of his experience, or his cousins.

Mrs Doran only learnt of her family's tragic loss in recent years, when a cousin started to research the family tree.

Mrs Doran said: "I found it very upsetting to learn about these three brothers. It's tragic when you think about it, I can't imagine what their mother went through losing three boys."

The eldest Dinsdale brother William was killed aged 24 on October 30, 1914; the second brother George died aged 22 on February 20, 1915; and the third son Frank was just 18 when he was killed on June 13, 1915.

Documents showed the Dinsdale family had a fourth son, who would have watched his three elder brothers leave for war and never return.

On Momday Mrs Doran attended the Sunset Ceremony - a special service of remembrance at the War Memorial on Station Rise - in a commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the declaration of war, carrying with her a newspaper cutting about the three brothers.

Her late husband Albert fought on the Normandy beaches, and Mrs Doran believes firmly in keeping the memory of past conflicts alive.

She said: "I think it's very important to carry on with these commemorations, to let the young ones these days know. It's surprising how many young people are interested, and sadly conflict is still going on today."

An honorary member of Normandy Veterans' Association, Mrs Doran has travelled to northern France every June for the last 13 years, and was at the 70th anniversary commemorations this summer.

She added: "When you have helped people look for their brother-in-law's grave in a cemetery in France, and stood looking at the Rhine and had somebody tell you 'My machine gun placing was just over there' it means something."

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