Bressingham family attends Passchendaele centenary

Ginny White, Martin White, James White, John Bensted-Smith, Bex White and Rosanna Bensted-Smith at Tyne Cot before the service (left to right).
Ginny White, Martin White, James White, John Bensted-Smith, Bex White and Rosanna Bensted-Smith at Tyne Cot before the service (left to right).

Sunday marked the 100th anniversary of one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War – but also offered a Bressingham family the chance to connect with their military ancestor.

Ginny White, with her husband Martin and their children Bex and James attended events last weekend, being selected in a ballot of 4,000 tickets that were made available to direct descendants of those who fought at Passchendaele.

Ginny’s grandfather Lt Col A A Hanbury-Sparrow survived the battle and received the Military Cross and a Distinguished Service Order.

Mrs White said: “We met up with two of my cousins from Shropshire and watched Saturday’s service in Ypres on a large TV – where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and prime minister Theresa May paid their respects at the Menin Gate.

“Afterwards, we moved to the Cloth Hall where images were projected onto the sides of the building.

“At the show in the Market Square, we watched Ian Hislop, Michael Palin, Michael Morpurgo and Helen Mirren speaking and performing.”

Reflecting on her grandfather, Mrs White said: “It was a very humbling and emotional weekend.

“We are incredibly proud of my grandfather and we are very grateful to have this amazing opportunity to be part of such an important commemoration.”