Ilkeston woman finds uncle’s war grave in Poland

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An Ilkeston woman has fulfilled a life-long goal after visiting her uncle’s war Second World War grave in Poland.

It was not long after joining the Army aged 17 that Ilkeston lad Lance Corporal George Lomas was captured in 1939.

Not much is known about the circumstances of his capture and sadly George, or ‘Tommy’, as he was known, died at a prison camp Stalag VIIIB which the family believe to have been in Poland in 1944.

Seventy-year-old Joan visited Tommy’s grave - a concrete cross among almost 600 others - last month in Krakow with her brother.

She said: “I went up and down row after row then finally found him. It was very emotional. He was my mother’s brother and was 23-years-old.

“I’ve heard stories about him my whole life - my grandmother grieved after waiting four years for him.”

Joan, a retired social worker, said her grandmother was told that Tommy had died after being poisoned by a Red Cross parcel.

Along with flowers and wreaths Joan laid letters from her eight-year-old granddaughter Lilly and her classmates which thanked Tommy for serving in the war.

The grandmother-of-eight said: “They said ‘thank you for being a soldier and saving our lives.’ I could not swallow.”