Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Veterans Returning to Scene of Battles

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Veterans Returning to Scene of Battles

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jamie Diffley

Lotto funds for group

Two Tyneside war veterans are to revisit the scene of their battles, thanks to cash from the Lottery fund.

Funding for a total of 26 veterans, spouses, widows and carers from the North East have been included in the second wave of awards announced today by the New Opportunities Fund.

Among the regional veterans to benefit from the fund are Peter Birkett and George Gulliford, both from Newcastle.

Two days before Prime Minister Chamberlain declared war on Germany in 1939, Mr Birkett, now aged 83, came up with his pit pony from the drift mine where he worked outside Newcastle and met his territorial army sergeant.

He was told to go home and have a bath before reporting to the drill hall.

He was then assigned to a signals platoon and eventually went to France in 1940 with the Tyneside Scottish, who were proud to become part of the Black Watch.

Mr Birkett, who is set to return to Dunkirk, said: "We were at the liberation of Le Havre and also fought alongside US troops in the Ardennes. …

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