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REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: Proud moment for son of wartime hero
WHEN John Arundel Theobalds was killed during the Second World War in 1944, he left behind three children.
Brigadier Theobalds – known to his friends as Jack – was only 42 when he was killed by a suicide bomber while fighting the Japanese in Burma.
Now his son Simon Theobalds will see his memory honoured tomorrow as his name appears on a list of names read out at a Turning the Pages ceremony, which honours young men from Oxfordshire killed during the two world wars.
Simon, who served with the same regiment as a Major later known as the Royal Green Jackets, said: “I was three years old when he was killed and I never knew him.
“I did a bit of research and he served with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infan- try.
“I asked if my father’s name could be included.”
With the service taking place the day before Armistice Day, he added: “It is perfect. I will find myself laying a wreath the following day. It is a Remembrance weekend.”
Brigadier Theobalds joined the Army in 1921 aged 20, serving entirely with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
He had only taken command of his brigade two weeks before he was killed on May 16, 1944.
He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order, which Simon from King George VI in December 1945.
Representatives of the armed forces and families congregate at Christ Church Cathedral to remember members of the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars and the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry every other month.
The tradition of reading out 20 names started years ago.
Last year, the Oxford Mail started publishing the names of men being read out in the hope it will allow other families of those killed to know they are being recognised in this way.
Organiser, Colonel Mike Vince, said: “We have been doing it for a number of years. It is a matter of remembering those for serving their country.
“This time last year we had 150 people attend the service, but it is normally between 30 and 40.”
- Do you know any of the other names on the list of names being read out tomorrow? Call reporter Emma Harrison on 01865 425430.