Dale brewer raises a glass to his grandfather who served in the DLI
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
A TEESDALE brewer has created a special tipple to honour both his grandfather who served in the Durham Light Infantry during the Second World War and all those who served in the regiment.
Dr Kevin Carr, head brewer at the Barnard Castle Brewing Co, based at Quaker’s Yard off Newgate, came up with the idea of creating the special brew three years ago at the 100th birthday of his grandfather, George Sydney Elliott, who died in 2018.
He said: “The Durham Light Infantry Association members brought so much pleasure to my grandpa in his final year at Falstone Manor Care Home in Sunderland.
“During his 100th birthday celebration he was quite overcome by the attention he received from staff and the association. He was particularly moved when they presented him with the statue of the DLI infantryman, which is a copy of the one in Durham market place.”
Dr Carr, who lives in Richmond, said: “Syd served with the 1st Battalion of the DLI in World War II at Tobruk, the siege of Malta and then Greece. He was captured on the Greek island of Leros and spent the rest of the war in a prisoner of war camp in Germany.”
Mr Elliott was born and raised in in Northumberland and married his wife, Elizabeth, after the war. They lived for many years in Sunderland. Dr Carr added: “Elizabeth, a widow, already had a daughter, Eileen (my mother) from her first marriage to her childhood sweetheart and next-door neighbour William Pigg.
“William, a keen footballer who had played with Sunderland Boys, was recruited to the DLI at Brancepeth Castle at the same time as Syd.
“They were good friends and when on leave Syd would often visit William and his family. William contracted tuberculosis when on active service in the Middle East and he was sent back the England. Sadly, he died about a year after the war ended. He was only 29 and my mother was only two.
“Syd kept in touch with Elizabeth and continued to visit following William’s death. Eventually romance blossomed and they married and had a daughter, Moira, my aunt. Although my mum loved Syd very much, she often feels sad that she never really knew her father, William, as he died so young while Syd reached the ripe old age of 100.”
Creating the DLIPA beer is a tribute to both William and Syd and the thousands of other young men and women who served with the DLI, or lost loved ones, and also to the DLI Association. Dr Carr added while the brewery has been unable to welcome customers to their tap room bottle sales have continued through the lockdowns.