Soldier Mark is finally honoured

Lance Corporal Mark Thirlwell
Lance Corporal Mark Thirlwell

Two decades after he was killed while part of a peace-keeping mission in Bosnia, Lance Corporal Mark Thirlwell has finally been recognised on Bridlington’s war memorial.

His name was added to the monument last week, just two days before the 20th anniversary of his death.

The new inscription at Bridlington War Memorial

The new inscription at Bridlington War Memorial

The Thirlwell family have welcomed the move, which comes five years after he was awarded the Elizabeth Cross by the Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Mark’s brother Paul said: “At the time of his death he was living in Burton Agnes, and his name is on the memorial there but he was a Brid kid, he grew up here.

“His friends and family still live in Bridlington and it is really nice that he has been recognised in the town. It means a lot. Twenty years seems like a lifetime but for us.”

LCpl Thirlwell was killed in a traffic accident in the Bosnian mountains, aged 26. He had already served in the first Gulf War and in Northern Ireland before returning to Bridlington.

He then signed up as an Army reservist and was with the 1st Battalion The Green Howards assisting the peace process with NATO when he died, leaving behind his wife Mandy and two children Victoria and Thomas, who were 18 months and three months.

The town’s mayor Coun Liam Dealtry was involved in the campaign to have LCpl Thirlwell’s name added to the memorial in Wellington Road, and believes that he was not recognised sooner in Bridlington because his death did not occur in an active war zone.

“The way I see it, if you are on military service when you die, I won’t let anybody be forgotten,” said the mayor.

“They have represented our country and we should be proud of them.”

Within an hour of appealing on social media, Coun Dealtry had been able to secure donations to cover the cost of the inscription work and he thanked the individuals and businesses who donated.

Paul said their mother Catherine had already been to the war memorial to see her son’s name, while Victoria and Thomas will lay wreaths on behalf of the family and LCpl Thirlwell’s regiment at the Remembrance service in Bridlington this weekend.

○ Sunday’s Remembrance service will be led by the Rev Matthew Pollard, and begins at 10.55am.

A parade will leave Station Approach at 10.40am and march along Quay Road.