The Great War 1914 – 1918 was a war that touched families from all over the world and almost every family in Britain.
This is a story of heroism and sacrifice, of valour and bravery, in one of the country’s darkest hours, published in 2008 as the nation prepares to honour its heroes on the 90th anniversary of the signing of the armistice, the story of First World War stretcher bearer Percy “Corky” Cawkwell can be shared.
Ronald, a former film lecturer at Hull College and Battlefields tour guide, met the former soldier while researching his own grandfather’s role in the Great War and the pair became close friends – in later years even riding a tandem bike together around Hull.
Among the interesting tales surrounding Percy is the fact he tried to enlist four times as a soldier but was rejected because he was blind in one eye. He finally enlisted after lying about his disability and went on face some of the most ferocious fighting seen on the Western Front during the war. He was also one of the brave few who went over the top on the Somme to recover wounded comrades during brief ceasefires with the Germans.