A BROMSGROVE man who fought in the First Battalion Worcestershire Regiment during the second world war, got the chance to meet up with an old friend and comrade recently after almost 70 years.

Tom Dutton, from Sidemoor in Bromsgrove, was delighted when he was contacted through the Regimental Society to tell him that his former friend from the battalion Cyril Stotesbury, was still alive and well and living on the Isle of Wight.

The two men, who are now both 88, served in the north west Europe during the war at the tender age of 17, but hadn’t spoken to each other since they were both injured on the same day whilst crossing the river Seine when they were 19.

A bullet travelled through a spade Mr Stoetsbury was carrying, hitting him in the back, while Mr Dutton was hit in the head after a bullet ran along the rim of his helmet.

Neither knew the other had been hurt, and both were taken off the strength of the battalion and found new jobs.

The meeting was organised by Mr Dutton’s son, after the two friends had chatted several times on the phone.

Mr Dutton said: “Most of my friends from the regiment have passed on now, I’m the only one. It was great, just like old times. I was thrilled, we couldn’t hug one another enough, old comrades. We were only lads the last time we saw each other, but I recognised him no problem.”

The two are planning to stay in touch, and Mr Stotesbury may even return the favour and pay a visit to Bromsgrove.