Brave Gemma cried as she found heroic grandad’s name

Gemma Garner tracked down her great-great-grandfather's name on the memorial wall.
Gemma Garner tracked down her great-great-grandfather's name on the memorial wall.

A DETERMINED teenager managed to find the name of her great-great-grandfather on the Menin Gate Memorial for the Missing.

It was while preparing for a school trip that Gemma Garner decided to seek out her relative, to the joy of her parents.

She and classmates at Belvoir High School, in Bottesford, travelled to France for a five-day visit, taking a day trip to the memorial in Belgium.

Gemma, 14, from Bottesford, said: “I am extremely proud of myself for being able to find my great-great-grandfather.

“It brought tears to my eyes because it was an extremely emotional experience for me and I’m pleased that I have made my family proud by bringing a little piece of history back home.

“It will stay with me forever.”

After doing a bit of research, and with the help of her classmates in scouring the names engraved on the memorial, Gemma hit the jackpot.

Among the thousands of names of fallen heroes included on the famous walls, she managed to find her great-great-grandfather Private Frederick Garner, a Castle Bytham man who was lost during the First World War on March 2, 1916, aged 36. He was serving with the 7th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.

With tears in her eyes, she lay a wreath with a note reading ‘Wish we had all met you, you’ll be missed forever’.

Her father, Jason Garner, said: “Gemma has made us as parents extremely proud with the way she has approached this little piece of history, which I’m sure will remain with her for the rest of her life.”