Brave American Airmen. Tony Keeps Their Memory Alive

Updated on May 25, 2019
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Travel and history are favorite interests of Liz and her husband. In her writing she often likes to delve into the history behind the sites.

The memorial to the 'Mi Amigo' air crew.
The memorial to the 'Mi Amigo' air crew. | Source

Picture The Scene

Young boys are scuffling on the grass in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield, northern England. It's 22nd February 1944. A plane circles overhead. The noise of the engines increases as the plane gets lower. The boys can see the crew waving at them. They wave back. Something is wrong. Black smoke is belching from the plane. The engines are making a sputtering sound. The boys run, as the crew wave frantically for them to get out of the way. The pilot maneuvers the plane to avoid the boys. The plane is struggling to gain height. There's a big explosion as it crashes into trees at the base of a hill on the other side of the park. All 10 crew members are dead.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Endcliffe Park. Sheffield.The nearby houses the pilot avoided.
Endcliffe Park. Sheffield.
Endcliffe Park. Sheffield. | Source
The nearby houses the pilot avoided.
The nearby houses the pilot avoided. | Source

The Facts

Earlier that day, 'Mi Amigo', a B-17 bomber with 10 crew members on board, had been part of a U.S. bomber group from Chelveston Airfield, Northamptonshire. Their mission was to carry out a daylight raid on a Luftwaffe military airbase at Aalborg in occupied Denmark.

The military airbase at Aalborg was shrouded in fog and they were unable to locate it. The formation of American bombers was set upon by German enemy fighters. Three B-17s were shot down and the remainder fled back across the North Sea, jettisoning their bombs en route.

'Mi Amigo' had been badly damaged. The plane emerged from the clouds over the city of Sheffield. The engines were failing. when the pilot spotted the green of Endcliffe Park and descended to attempt a landing. The ten crew members who died that day were:

  • First Lieutenant John Kriegshauser (pilot)
  • Second Lieutenant Lyle Curtis (co-pilot)
  • Second Lieutenant John Humphrey (navigator)
  • Staff Sergeant Harry Estabrooks (flight engineer/top turret gunner)
  • Second Lieutenant Melchor Hernandez (bombardier)
  • Staff Sergeant Robert Mayfield (radio operator)
  • Sergeant Charles Tuttle (ball turret gunner)
  • Sergeant Vito Ambrosio (waist gunner)
  • Sergeant George Williams (waist gunner)
  • Sergeant Maurice Robbins (tail gunner)

'Mi Amigo's' Last Flight

A
Chelveston Airfield, Northamptonshire:
Chelveston, Wellingborough NN9 6AN, UK

get directions

B
Aalborg, Denmark:
Aalborg, Denmark

get directions

C
Endcliffe Park, Sheffield:
Endcliffe Park, Rustlings Rd, Sheffield S11 7AB, UK

get directions

The Years Roll On

Three of the crew members, Harry Estabrooks, Charles Tuttle, and Maurice Robbins were laid to rest at the American Cemetery, Cambridge UK. The remains of the others were returned home after the war.

In 1969 a memorial stone was placed at the crash site and 10 oak trees were planted in memory of the 10 American airmen. There has been a memorial service and an annual commemoration since.

The memorial to the 'Mi Amigo' crew.
The memorial to the 'Mi Amigo' crew. | Source

Tony's Story

Tony Foulds was one of the boys who had gathered at Endcliffe Park on Tuesday 22nd February 1944. He was 8 years old. He never forgot the events he had witnessed that day. The memory of the American airmen who lost their lives remained with him.

Tony felt in some way guilty about their deaths and he made it his mission in life to tend the crash site in memory of the dead airmen. He planted flowers there, which he tended and he diligently swept the leaves away and kept the site in good order.

Tony's devotion continues to this day. Several times a week he makes the journey on three buses from his home to tend the memorial site.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tony Foulds.The memorial surrounded with the plants Tony has bought and tended.
Tony Foulds.
Tony Foulds. | Source
The memorial surrounded with the plants Tony has bought and tended.
The memorial surrounded with the plants Tony has bought and tended. | Source

A Chance Meeting

BBC Breakfast presenter, Dan Walker sometimes walks his dog in Endcliffe Park. One day he took a slightly different route and came across a man sweeping leaves up by a memorial. Offering to help, Dan got into a conversation with Tony, who told him the story of the crash and his devotion to maintaining the site in memory of the dead airmen.

Tony told Dan how he wanted the council to tarmac the path and that he would dearly love a flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the crash. Saying "Leave it with me", Dan left, wondering how he could help Tony achieve his dream.

Dreams Start to Come True

Dan was true to his word. After leaving Tony, he quickly verified the story and then contacted the US Embassy and RAF Lakenheath (hosting base for United States Air Force units and personnel). He also asked his Twitter followers for help. The feedback he received was very positive, with high ranking members of the RAF and US Air Force offering help. The story took off globally.

Several days later, a group of people turned up to paint the fences around the memorial. The local council arranged for a contractor to tarmac the path and steps to the memorial. A local school crowdfunded a flagpole. A flypast was even being talked about in the House of Commons.

Everything was coming together. Dan invited Tony to come into the BBC Breakfast studio on 22nd January to meet Woody Johnson, the US ambassador to the UK. Emotions ran high as a live link to RAF Lakenheath confirmed that Tony would get the 75th anniversary flypast he so much wanted.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The 'Mi Amigo' flagpole.The woodland setting of the memorial.
The 'Mi Amigo' flagpole.
The 'Mi Amigo' flagpole. | Source
The woodland setting of the memorial.
The woodland setting of the memorial. | Source

Flypast

Despite the concern that weather conditions might cause problems for the flypast, all was well on 22nd February. Thousands of people gathered with Tony at Endcliffe Park to witness the historic occasion of US Air Force and RAF planes flying over in honor of the 10 men who lost their lives when 'Mi Amigo' crashed 75 years before.

One person was absent on the day. Dan Walker was in Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of charity.

Looking down on the memorial with the plants tended by Tony.
Looking down on the memorial with the plants tended by Tony. | Source

Meeting Tony

We recently visited Endcliffe Park. Staying in the area and having heard the story, we were interested to see the memorial. Parking on the road opposite the park, we were very aware of the cluster of pre-war housing nearby and how much worse the tragedy could have been. We could see the grassy area, a cafe and wooded hill behind it, but there were no signs to point us towards the memorial. Spotting the top of a flagpole through the trees, we headed towards it, crossing a stream with stepping stones.

Ahead of us, we saw a flagpole with an information board below it and some wreaths. To the side, there were steps up to a fenced area, which surrounded the memorial. There were plants, flowers, and wreaths around it. People were gathered below the memorial. Some had American accents. Photographs were being taken and a man introduced himself to us as the Chairman of Sheffield Rotarians. They were apparently hosting a group of US Rotarians.

After a while, we noticed that they were crowding around a man, who was wearing a cap with 'Mi Amigo' on it. There were shouts of 'Tony, look this way' and 'Tony, over here'. Somebody appeared with a pendant, which was presented to Tony to mark the occasion. He was invited to join them for a meal in the evening and then they were gone, off to the next location on their trip.

The three of us were left. Tony still proudly clutching his pendant. We struck up a conversation and ended up joining him for a cup of tea in the nearby cafe.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tony with the Rotarian pendant.Stepping stones across the stream in Endcliffe Park.Tony receives the Rotarian pendant.The pavilion from the 1940s is now a busy café.
Tony with the Rotarian pendant.
Tony with the Rotarian pendant. | Source
Stepping stones across the stream in Endcliffe Park.
Stepping stones across the stream in Endcliffe Park. | Source
Tony receives the Rotarian pendant.
Tony receives the Rotarian pendant. | Source
The pavilion from the 1940s is now a busy café.
The pavilion from the 1940s is now a busy café. | Source

A Fascinating Conversation

Tony was very pleased with his newly acquired pendant. He showed us a new memorial bench which he had received the previous day. It seemed that a visit to America was being lined up for him by the Rotarians. He told us of his busy calendar. He would be seeing the American Ambassador, going to the American cemetery near Cambridge, visiting Bomber Command in Lincolnshire, collecting plaques made for him and Dan Walker by prisoners in Leicester prison and he had been invited to speak at a school in Portsmouth.

Going into schools and speaking to 8-year-olds about his experience is especially close to Tony's heart. He was 8 years old himself when he witnessed the crash of 'Mi Amigo'.

Tony spoke of his regret that there was no memorial to the US airmen until 1969. Recent events have made up for this omission.

When we expressed surprise that the US flag is not on the flagpole. Tony explained that this would require a bugler morning and night to raise and lower the flag. A special 'Mi Amigo' flag has been made instead.

I said that I had been concerned about weather conditions affecting the flypast. Tony's response was "I knew it would be alright. They (the crew of Mi Amigo) told me." Twice a year he sleeps in the park. It's very dark and he hears the wonderful noises of the animals in the park.

Tony spoke highly of Dan Walker the BBC Breakfast presenter who did so much to break his story and help him achieve his dream.

Much has changed for Tony Foulds. He now has the status of a local celebrity. He has been given a Sheffield Legend Award and a plaque on Sheffield Town Hall Walk of Fame. In April he was awarded the True Englishman Award 2019 by the St. George's Day Club.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tony's personal tribute "To my adopted sons."Tony's tribute  on top of the memorial.The new memorial bench.
Tony's personal tribute "To my adopted sons."
Tony's personal tribute "To my adopted sons." | Source
Tony's tribute  on top of the memorial.
Tony's tribute on top of the memorial. | Source
The new memorial bench.
The new memorial bench. | Source

Please, Mr. President

There is just one more wish that Tony has to fulfill. He would love to shake hands with President Trump. To his mind, shaking hands with "the most powerful man in the world" would be amazing.

He regretted not remembering to ask the US Rotarians about his chances of meeting the President. We reminded him that he could always ask when he met them for a meal later. We also suggested he mention it to the US Ambassador when he next sees him.

Do you think that President Trump should shake Tony's hand?

See results
The memorial to the crew of 'Mi Amigo'.
The memorial to the crew of 'Mi Amigo'. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Liz Westwood

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    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      7 weeks ago from UK

      Thanks for dropping by, Peggy. I heard that Tony's son had agreed to continue tending the site in the future.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      I pray that Tony is doing well during this pandemic. Hopefully, someone younger is caring for this memorial, and he is sheltering in place. It would be nice if some younger people would start tending it in any case, given Tony's age. He would then know that his efforts will be continued long into the future.

    • boxelderred profile image

      greg cain 

      2 months ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Yes, and yes.

      Fingers crossed for a vaccine so reliance on other processes can decrease or terminate altogether.

      I understand Bentwaters closed down in the early 90s, and I was sad to learn of it. Would like to have gone there one day to see my birthplace. I may still do that now you say there's a museum there. I was very much a Cold War warrior myself, and the history of that interests me greatly.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      Our situation is the reverse. I have not been across the Atlantic, but hope to one day. I had not heard of RAF Bentwaters before. Apparently it is no longer used as an airbase and has been sold off. It seems that there's a business park on the site and also a Cold War museum, which sounds interesting.

      I hope that when the situation improves, you can get back to Europe for a visit. By all accounts, Germany has handled the pandemic crisis a little better than other countries.

    • boxelderred profile image

      greg cain 

      2 months ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Wise, those words: "in the hope that it would prevent armed conflicts in the future." It's a noble endeavor, and one to which I hope we all continue to contribute. Thanks again, Liz. I hope one day to get over to Europe and see more. So rich in history, so much to explore. Though I was born in the UK (RAF Bentwaters), my father got reassigned back to the US when I was 3 months old. Hard as it is to believe, my own 30 years in service did not put me in Europe except as a passerby enroute to elsewhere, instead I did mostly CONUS and Pacific assignments. The first time I visited mainland Europe (Germany, where my son was attending university) was in November 2019, believe it or not. Can't wait to go back and visit again someday, see more of it when the world approaches something more like 'normal.'

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      I recall trips over to France and Belgium, when occasionally we have visited nearby museums, war graves and battlefields, mainly related to World War l. We once talked to a hotel manager in Ghent, Belgium about a visit we were planning to Ypres. He recommended a museum there in the town hall, that Belgian school children visited. In his view it was important that the younger generation learnt about the war in the hope that it would prevent armed conflicts in the future.

    • boxelderred profile image

      greg cain 

      2 months ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      There were indeed many Americans, but then there were also many of all nationalities who died during that horrendous conflict. Too many, to be sure. It is nice to see some of them commemorated in such fashion as in the case of Tony, as in the case of an entire dedicated cemetery. That there's need for such things is the tragedy, of course.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, Greg. The story was big on BBC breakfast over winter last year. It was picked up by chance as the presenter met Tony while walking his dog in the park near Sheffield. I wonder how the memorial is being tended now during the pandemic, as Tony is of the age that should be shielding at home?

      I was interested to hear of your former profession. A few years before we met Tony, we visited the American cemetery outside Cambridge. It was moving to realise that the graves there represented just a fraction of American servicemen who lost their lives in World War ll.

    • boxelderred profile image

      greg cain 

      2 months ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Liz - Oh, this story! Tony Foulds and Mi Amigo. As an Airman myself, a retired USAF bomber pilot, this story very literally brought a tear to my eye. I also read more about it at https://mobile.twitter.com/BBCBreakfast/status/123... and was somewhat surprised that your recounting was the first I’d heard about all this. Thank you for telling the story for the rest of us. I can imagine it was an honor and a thrill to meet Tony in person. His is a wonderful story and yours is a wonderful telling of it. Bless the crew of Mi Amigo, the stricken aircraft and its crew of 10 great Americans; bless Tony and his quest; but mostly bless you greatly for covering it so eloquently, for sharing it with us. What a great tribute to Mr. Tony and all the rest. Nicely done.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your very encouraging comment, Sharon.

    • profile image

      Sharon R Hill 

      2 months ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      This is an expertly crafted Hub.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, Sankhajit.

    • Sankhajit Bhattacharjee profile image

      Sankhajit Bhattacharjee 

      2 months ago from MILWAUKEE

      beautiful pictures and elegant writings

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      3 months ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment, Marcy. I think we would have heard if a meeting was going to happen with President Trump. I'm not sure how Tony is managing to look after the site during lockdown, as he falls within the age group that should be staying at home.

    • Marcy Bialeschki profile image

      Marcy Bialeschki 

      3 months ago from Cerro Gordo, IL

      What a fascinating story. And what a thing for a young boy to witness. The event has obviously impacted his entire life. Do you know any more on having him meet President Trump?

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      3 months ago from UK

      I was just wondering the same thing myself recently. As Tony is of an age when he should be staying at home because of vulnerability to COVID-19 I hope someone else is looking after the memorial.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      3 months ago from Fresno CA

      I hope he is able to keep it up while people are sheltering in place and not able to come out and visit the site.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      5 months ago from UK

      Thank you for dropping by again, Peggy. His is a remarkable story.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I enjoyed reading this again. Tony is an amazing man! The memorial is lovely.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      6 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, J C . Tony's has been an interesting story to follow.

    • JC Scull profile image

      JC Scull 

      6 months ago from Gainesville, Florida

      Very engaging article. Excellent.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      7 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, Umesh. This was a departure from travel articles for me, but it was a story too good to pass by without narrating it. It was an uncanny experience, standing in the park and hearing Tony's wartime account.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      7 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Very detailed, well written and useful article. One feels as one is strolling there. Nice.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      7 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, Lora. This article was a departure from the usual travel articles I like to write. It was a story well worth narrating. It's important to remember those who sacrificed their lives for the good of others.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      7 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, Denise. Tony had an interesting story to tell. We were privileged to meet him.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      7 months ago

      What a beautiful tribute to these ten American heroes who deserve such a memorial in their honor! And what an awesome man Tony is for keeping their heroic deeds alive for generations afterward. You did a wonderful job on this article, Liz! I will have to go visit this memorial one day. Thanks so much for sharing this sad but inspiring story!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      7 months ago from Fresno CA

      How fascinating. I feel like I've met him too. What a dear he must be.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      7 months ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment, Michael. It was a story that captured the attention of the people in the UK in 2019. We were privileged to meet Tony, which was a story worth telling.

    • Michael-Duncan profile image

      Michael Duncan 

      7 months ago from Germany

      Touching story and very well presented indeed. It is noble to honour the bravery of those who put their lives on the line for their fellow countrymen and to learn from their sacrifice.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      7 months ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment, bhattuc. Tony has an interesting story to tell.

    • profile image

      bhattuc 

      7 months ago

      Lively description. Well written. Thanks.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      8 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, Dale. I hope your uncle enjoys this article. Tony certainly hit the headlines in the UK, with his unique story. It was a privilege to meet him.

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      8 months ago from The High Seas

      Thank you for sharing this with the rest of us. I've sent the link to this hub to my uncle whom I know will enjoy it as much as I did.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      8 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, Patricia. I was hoping that someone on your side of the Pond would take this up and run with it. Thank you very much for passing the message on.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      9 months ago from North Central Florida

      Thank you for sharing Tony's story. I sent a link to your page and a special msg to President Trump. I hope he does get to meet Tony.

      Angels are headed your way this afternoon. ps

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment, Peg. Having followed the story on BBC Breakfast news, we were interested to visit the memorial. We had not expected to see Tony. Hearing his story first hand was fascinating.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      This is a fascinating story and what a wonderful lifelong gesture Tony made toward memorializing the bravery of those 10 men! Certainly President Trump would be honored to shake this man's hand.

      As an eight year old, this event truly impacted the rest of his life. It's great that he brought attention to this and served to care for the grounds for all those years.

      Loved seeing the photos of Tony and hearing of his admirers.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      13 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, Peggy. I was not sure how well publicised this story had been across the Pond. It was an interesting experience to meet Tony.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      13 months ago from Houston, Texas

      What a lovely story about Tony's efforts to honor those American airmen who gave their lives in the cause of freedom. Thanks for the photos and information. I would probably never have known about it except for reading this.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      13 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, Kenna. It is good that, after all these years of commitment and work in keeping the memorial going, Tony has at last been recognised for all he has done.

    • Kenna McHugh profile image

      Kenna McHugh 

      13 months ago from Northern California

      Following one's dreams is so important. Tony is an example of what it means to help others to live a long and purposeful life. We are all meant to help others.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thank you very much for your comment, Thelma. Having followed the story on BBC Breakfast, we were interested to visit the memorial. Meeting Tony there as well was a fascinating experience. On the day of the flypast he told us he had to be at the park at 3am. On a cold February morning in the UK that's quite a commitment.

      Recent D-day commemorations have reminded us of the sacrifices that so many servicemen made in the Second World War. Next May, the traditional May bank holiday is being moved from the first Monday in May to Friday 8th to commemorate VE day (75th anniversary of Victory in Europe).

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      14 months ago from Germany and Philippines

      What a wonderful tribute to the airmen who have lost their lives in the WW2. This is an emotional hub for me reading this. Tony deserves the award he got. I hope his dream of seeing the president of the United States will come true. Thanks for sharing this historical hub. A great one.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      14 months ago

      Thank you for posting.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment, Robert. It has been a story that has run for months. The recent visit of Tony to the American cemetery near Cambridge, to visit the graves of some of the airmen killed that day in Sheffield made the main BBC news broadcast. You are right. Many areas of Europe have their own war stories to tell, as is the case in many other parts of the world affected by the conflict.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      14 months ago

      This is a very moving article. I'm glad you included the link to the news clip. A wonderful tribute. As the reporter pointed out this was one of the thousands of stories spread across Europe in World War II.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thanks for the pin, RTalloni. I appreciate that. In travelling around Europe we often come across reminders of the First and Second World Wars. They were sad times in history when so many lives were lost on both sides. In the UK we pause in November to remember the fallen in war.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment, Linda. Commemrations like the recent ones for D-Day serve as a reminder of how much we owe the brave men who fought for our freedom. The memory of visiting the Normandy landing beaches over 35 years ago has stayed with me ever since. There are so many reminders of the D-Day landings still there as well as museums.

    • lindacee profile image

      Linda Chechar 

      14 months ago from Arizona

      What a wonderful tribute to the airmen of the Mi Amigo. Tony is a great patriot. I hope he gets to shake Trump's hand. It is such appreciation to share the history of WWII. Many of the young ones don't have any idea of the sacrifices made. The 75th D-Day ceremony was quite touching.

    • profile image

      RTalloni 

      14 months ago

      Also, since you get to travel and meet so many people I hope we'll get to hear more of these kinds of stories from you. Brave people fought against Nazi invasions throughout the world. Though we very much appreciate hearing about Americans who sacrificed, that is not to say we dismiss those from other countries who did the same. Each story is so individual, like Tony's. Came back to say am pinning to my Patriotic/Military board.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, RTalloni. I hope that Tony gets his wish to meet President Trump. I saw some footage this week of Tony attending a ceremony at the American Cemetery near Cambridge with the American Ambassador to the UK. Tony visited the graves of some of the airmen who died in Sheffield. It was an emotional time for him.

      I agree that it's important to remember the sacrifices made in history. This week we have seen a lot of events commemorating D-day 75 years ago.

      I remember well a visit to Belgium several years ago. A hotel manager told us how important he felt it was for children to learn about the World Wars which impacted Belgium so much in the 20th Century. He recommended an excellent museum in the centre of Ypres about the First World War.

    • profile image

      RTalloni 

      14 months ago

      What a great read. Thank you so much for writing about the boy Tony who faithfully remembered the sacrifice of these American airmen. Oh how we need these kinds of stories preserved for generations to hold on to!

      I hope President Trump gets word of this man's wish to shake his hand and that it can be arranged. Perhaps many people will forward your article to the White House and Tony will be invited to visit.

      Also, I hope teachers will use the information to help students understand more about history and what it means to be a person of character with a grateful heart and mind.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment, Mohan. This was a story that captured the hearts of BBC Breakfast viewers and those further afield. So, when we found ourselves staying nearby, we decided to visit the memorial. Experiences like this and visits to military graveyards really bring home the sacrifice that so many have made in the past and continue to make in the armed services for the freedom of others.

      I have notes on other places I have visited in the UK. It's just that I have so much other material from other trips to get through first. This story needed telling quickly before it dated and lost its impact.

    • Babu Mohan profile image

      Mohan Babu 

      14 months ago from Chennai, India

      It is a tough life for the men in service as they should be prepared to give their life for their country. The ten brave men had made a remarkable attempt at saving the lives of residents even when their own lives were at grave danger. It is good to see you write about places and events closer home. Way to go, Liz.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment, Ameen. After visiting the memorial and talking with Tony, it was a story worth telling.

    • Ameen2002 profile image

      Ameen Selegi 

      14 months ago from Rochelle Park, NJ 07662

      Actually, I loved this article. It has a lot of interest when reading.

      Keep going. Have a nice day.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, Dora. Tony's story captured the heart of the nation and, thanks to the digital age we live in, has spread globally. It was an honour to meet him.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, FlourishAnyway. It's easy to take our freedom and lifestyle for granted in the UK. A story like this reminds us of the sacrifices that were made to ensure this.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment, John. We visited the American cemetery near Cambridge, UK a few years ago. It brought home to us how many Americans lost their lives helping the UK in the Second World War.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      14 months ago from The Caribbean

      Tony Foulds deserves the celebrity status and the awards he received. He's a model for those of us who are committed to any cause that we are impressed to lead, follow or support. Hooray to his dedication. Thanks, Lliz for bringing us the story.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      14 months ago from USA

      This is lifelong commitment. It’s tragic that he witnessed this as a child and tragic that it happened. If shaking Trump’s hand is what he wants so be it although there are lots better ways to honor him.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      14 months ago from Queensland Australia

      What a delightful and interesting story. Tony sounds like a truly wonderful human being. I hope he gets to shake President Trump’s hand, if that is what he really wants. Nice work and thank you for sharing this Liz.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, Pamela. Tony's story struck a chord when it was brought to the wider public attention. He has become a local celebrity. It's so touching that he has done so much to preserve the memory of the brave American airmen.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      14 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Tony Foulds is a wonderful, devoted man to this cause, and what he has done is fantastic. I think it is important to remember those in the past that died to make us free. This is such a wonderful story Liz, and I appreciate learning about all that has been done at this memorial.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment, Lorna. Tony seemed remarkably unaffected by all the attention he has had recently. It was a very moving story and captured the hearts of many viewers.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment Kitty. We went there to see the memorial, not expecting to see Tony. At first he was lost in the crowd of rotarians.But then we spotted him. We certainly didn't expect to be drinking tea with him.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      14 months ago

      I remember watching this on the news and being extremely moved by it - what a wonderful humble man.

    • profile image

      Kitty Fisher 

      14 months ago

      Fascinating story! And how great that you got to meet Tony!

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thank you for your comment, Bill. It was a story that just needed recounting. Tony went about his duties tending the memorial for many years, before his story broke on national tv. It shows the power of social media and modern technology.

    • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Westwood 

      14 months ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment, Eric. The story of Tony's devotion has captured the hearts of many.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      What a wonderful story....Tony is one special man...we need more like him.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A Joy to read. Loving is so cool. I just tear up our whole Memorial day weekend.

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