A relative of one of our forgotten soldiers said it is “disgraceful” their service in the First World War has not been recognised.

George Lammie’s great-nephew Bill Harris, 56, was astonished to learn his grandmother’s brother had ended his days in the Cane Hill lunatic asylum.

He said: “I do feel that they deserve to be recognised, I think its disgraceful that they are not on the honour roll.”

The Croydon Guardian is campaigning to have soldiers who served during the First World War and died later in the Cane Hill asylum, included on the national Debt of Honour.

The bodies of 26 soldiers who died while being treated in the Coulsdon asylum lie hidden in an unmarked grave.

Their names do not appear on any official or state memorial despite the fact that they had full military funerals.

Local historian Adrian Falks uncovered the scandal.

Mr Harris, a father of four, heard about his great-uncle from his grandmother, Jean Lammie, who lost two brothers in the war.

Her father had died in 1909 leaving George, William and Jean without a home and in a desperate situation. Mr Harris does not know what happened to their mother Clara, but George as the eldest son took it upon himself to look after his family.

He said: “George managed to find work for William, who was 15 or 16, on a relative’s farm in Dorset. In order to put a roof over my grandmother’s head, he put her into service as a maid.

"She was very young, possibly in her early teens.”

When war broke out, George and William both enlisted and fought on the frontline. William was killed during the Battle of the Somme. Mr Harris has visited his grave at the Authuile Military Cemetery. William’s name is on the Debt of Honour.

Until he read our story he did not know George Lammie had died at Cane Hill hospital and now lies in an unmarked grave.

He said: “George’s war record shows he was a bit of a lad, he was known to have a drink and indulge in fisticuffs.”

According to the record, George fought on the front and was sent home after being “blown up” on the battlefield.

His war record does not go into the extent of his injuries.

Mr Harris said George married a woman named Daw during the war. She had a daughter whose father had been killed in battle.

Daw’s second husband would die after his mind had become ravaged by syphilis. Like many other soldiers, he contracted the disease for which there was no cure.

Mr Falks said: “It was a common disease among soldiers at the time. The army’s thinking was that it was a way of army life.”

He said it was not a barrier to inclusion on the Debt of Honour and George Lammie should be remembered for his service on the frontline.

A spokesman for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said: “We welcome this campaign to add the names of any individuals who were not included on the Debt of Honour, and is working closely with the Ministry of Defence to identify those who may have been overlooked.

"It is worth noting that it is not, and has never been, the policy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to discriminate with regards to the mental health of an individual.

"Indeed, the commission has, from its inception in 1917, had a clear and unambiguous policy of not discriminating on any basis, be that creed, colour, religion, race, criminal convictions or state of health.

"Our team of researchers are now examining the list of names presented to us. The MoD will then make the final decision as to who is added to the Debt of Honour."

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