Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Veteran of Burma Campaign Is Given Military Tribute

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Veteran of Burma Campaign Is Given Military Tribute

Article excerpt

Byline: James Cain Reporter james.cain@trinitymirror.com

THE funeral of a great-grandfather who served with the Gurkhas during the Second World War was marked by standard bearers and the playing of the Last Post.

Michael Wall, a grandfather of five and a great-grandfather of nine who died aged 93, was attached to the Third Gurkha Rifles during the British forces' campaign in Burma.

His coffin, draped in the Union Flag and crowned with Michael's distinctive Gurkha hat and military medals including the Burma Star, arrived at Acklam Cemetery behind a procession of standard bearers.

Michael's son, also called Michael, remembered his dad with fondness.

The 60-year-old said: "He was a bit of a disciplinarian and a real character. He would have been so proud to see this.

"He joined the Army at the outbreak of the Second World War, just as did his father had done in the First World War, and he got sent through India to Burma where he was attached to the Third Gurkha Rifles, initially as a dispatch driver. "My dad had the upmost respect for the Gurkhas and would wear the distinctive hat with the crossed Kukri - the fighting knives of the Gurkhas.

"His dad, who was also called Michael, was a professional soldier who had been born in Ireland but joined the British Army to escape the poverty.

"My dad idolised his dad and his mother - he couldn't speak about them without getting moist eyed.

"Last year at Remembrance Sunday he was able to wear both his own and his dad's medals which made him very proud.

"He used to walk a lot - march actually. He was a common sight around Grove Hill where he lived in his little flat on Farndale Road.

"You would often see him marching into town with his blazer and trilby hat.

"My friends would always say 'I saw your dad marching in town today'.

"He was a hell of a bloke for one-liners - every time we walked away from people there would be laughing. …

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