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WWII veteran from Co Durham returns to Malaysia

A Second World War veteran from County Durham has visited Malaysia to retrace the steps he took during his service.

89-year-old Raffaello Moscardini, from Stanley, made the visit to mark the 69th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory in Japan).

Raffaello was born in the UK to Italian parents. He was 15 years old when his two older brothers were called up to fight in 1939.

When Mussolini entered the war on the side of the Nazis, Raffaello's father was arrested and taken to the Isle of Man.

I visited these places during bad times and it's really nice to visit during the good times.

I'm certainly no hero - but my brothers were. They were in battles and lucky to survive the war - many others didn't and it's important to remember them.

– Raffaello Moscardini

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'Thankful' villages in the North East

The three villages in the North East and Cumbria where all the men who fought in WWI returned safely will be officially recognised today.

Two bikers from Wales are travelling up and down the country, presenting plaques to all the so-called 'thankful villages'.

There are 51 in total across the country.

The villages in the North East and Cumbria are:

  • Meldon, Northumberland
  • Hunstanworth, Durham
  • Ousby, Cumberland

The nine-day charity ride is raising money for the Royal British Legion.

Service for 'thankful' villages in the North East

Special service for 'thankful' villages in the North East.
Special service for 'thankful' villages in the North East. Credit: Keith Blundy

A special service was held at the Angel of the North to remember villages in the North East where all the men who fought in WWI returned safely.

Two bikers from Wales are travelling the country, visiting all 51 so-called 'thankful villages'.

gie Bancroft, centre, at the service at the Angel of the North.
Dougie Bancroft, centre, at the service at the Angel of the North. Credit: Keith Blundy

After the service this morning, they travelled to Meldon in Northumberland where they presented a plaque recognising the sacrifices made by the men from the village almost 100 years ago.

Bikers Medwyn Parry and Dougie Bancroft with Rev David Glover and members of the British Legion.
Bikers Medwyn Parry and Dougie Bancroft with Rev David Glover and members of the British Legion. Credit: Keith Blundy

The 9-day trip across the country is also raising money for the Royal British Legion.

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