Soldier is honoured 15 years after tragic death

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THE family of a soldier from Yorkshire who died in an accident 15 years ago have been presented with the Elizabeth Cross.

Lance Corporal Steven Mark Thirlwell, 26, from the Prince of Wales’s Own Yorkshire Regiment, died as a result of a road accident in the mountainous area of central Bosnia on November 4, 1996.

He had been deployed to the region with the 1st Battalion The Green Howards to assist in implementing military aspects of the peace framework.

L/Cpl Thirlwell, from Bridlington, had previously served in Germany, Northern Ireland and the First Gulf War.

The medal was presented to his parents, Catherine and Brian, his widow Mandy Lidster, and their children Victoria, 16, and 15-year-old Thomas, by the Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding, Susan Cunliffe-Lister, in a private ceremony at Burton Agnes Hall.

Ms Lidster, 46, said: “I am so proud to receive this award in Mark’s memory. November is always a difficult month for us as a family because it’s the anniversary of his death, so it was nice to have something to look forward too for once; celebrating his life and what he did in the Army.

“Our son Thomas will wear the Elizabeth Cross with pride I’m sure, along with Mark’s other service medals.”

Mr Thirlwell, 64, said that his son “loved” the Army, and added: “It has been fifteen years but not a day goes by when we don’t think about him.

“He will never be forgotten.”