War veteran's amazing reunion with nurse
A WAR veteran who was blown up during the First World War was reunited with the nurse who treated him after a chance encounter.
Now the family of the late Harold Fallows have told his amazing story for the first time ahead of tomorrow's Remembrance Sunday services.
Mr Fallows was a young recruit aged around 18 when he was caught up in a German bomb attack in France.
He suffered serious injuries and lost a leg in the blast, but never forgot the kindness of a nurse who tended to him.
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Then, some 30 years later, the veteran was left dumbstruck when he spotted the very same woman while out driving with his family.
Mr Fallows' daughter, Christine Washington, aged 71, of Harriseahead, said: "It must have been about 1951. We were going out for a picnic when my father just said, 'stop the car'.
"We stopped and my father got out and approached a lady who was cutting her garden hedge. He stood chatting to her.
"When he got back into the car he said she was the nurse who had looked after him when he lost his leg.
"She couldn't remember him, but she said she had been a nurse in France, and he never forgot her face.
"She couldn't believe it. She said she was sorry she didn't remember him, but she nursed so many young men at that time.
"She was thrilled that he remembered her and said it made her feel her job had been well done. I was only about 10 at the time, but I thought it was marvellous. I have never forgotten it."
Mr Fallows was living with his parents and brothers John, Harry, and Jesse Fallows – who all served during the Great War – at Nash Peake Street, Tunstall, when he volunteered to join the war effort.
Working as a miner at the time, he would normally have been exempt from conscription. Mr Fallows never spoke about his experiences, although his daughter found out some of the details through other family members.
She said: "He was in a village in France, watering horses and a bomb exploded next to him. Three Australian soldiers found him and rescued him.
"He was taken to hospital, but unfortunately he lost his leg. My dad suffered with the pain all his life. My dad was a quiet man, he was hard working and he was a very good dad.
"He married my mother, Ethel Yates, in 1922, and they had three daughters. Elsie, born in 1923, Shelia, born 1936, and me, Christine, born in 1941. By that time we were at war again with Germany, I was always very proud of him."
Mr Fallows died in 1963 aged 64, eight weeks after his wife died, aged 62.