The 13-year-old Berkshire cadet who lay the final poppy at the Tower of London is a descendant of a Co. Mayo soldier who was killed in action just weeks before the end of the First World War.
Harry Hayes comes from a long line of men who served in the British Army, and laid the 888,246th poppy at the memorial having been selected for being the youngest member of the force after signing up as an Army Cadet when he turned 13.
His father Des, who proudly tweeted a picture of himself and his son on the day, served in the British Army for 11 years and is now employed as the Operations and Safety Manager at the Tower of London.
However, Harry’s link to the army runs back further than that as his maternal great-great-great uncle, Private Patrick Kelly of the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, was killed in action on September 27 1918.
Patrick was born in Westport in Co. Mayo, and enlisted in Atherton of Greater Manchester according to website In Memories.
The website states that he was survived by widow Marjory, nee Nixon, and that he is pictured with an unknown friend and a Jim Foy.
The Royal British Legion’s Every Man Remembered website cites that Private Kelly was killed in action on September 27 1918, just weeks before the end of the war.
He is buried at Sanders Keep Military Cemetery in the Calais region of France.