By Martin Slack in BBC News.
Even by the standards of that bloodiest of wars, Amy Beechey’s suffering was extreme: five of her eight sons would not live to see the end of World War One. A century on, stone crosses have been erected across the world in a symbolic effort to reunite the five brothers.
Even for the time, the Beechey family was a big one. Amy, the wife of a country vicar, had eight sons and six daughters.
All eight boys would serve in World War One.
Amy lost five of those eight sons – and one of the survivors she never saw again. It was a loss she was not prepared to take quietly.
When she was presented to King George V and Queen Mary in April 1918, the Queen thanked her for her sacrifice.
She replied: “It was no sacrifice, Ma’am – I did not given them willingly.”
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