Oxenhope-born veteran of the war in Burma dies, aged 96

Keighley News: Dennis Mitchell Dennis Mitchell

An Oxenhope-born man who fought in Burma during the Second World War has died.

Dennis Mitchell was 96 when he died in Bradford Royal Infirmary last Wednesday.

He joined the army when he was just 17, lying about his age to get in. He was shot by the Japanese during the Battle of Sittang Bridge in 1942, and the bullet remained lodged in his body for the rest of his life.

His stepson, David Wardley, who lives in Oakworth, said: “He was a nice chap – a gentleman really.

“He never used to ask for anything, and never complained, even right to the end when he was in hospital.”

During the war, Mr Mitchell, right, was part of the Duke of Wellington’s Reg-iment, and also served in Malta and India as well as Burma. He was a keen rugby player and heavyweight boxer while in the forces. He finished his military career in 1947 with the rank of sergeant major.

He helped advise a war artist, who was creating a painting of the Sittang Bridge battle, in the 1990s. Mr Mitchell is one of the soldiers depicted in the artwork, which was first unveiled in 1997.

Mr Mitchell worked as a lorry driver after the war. He was employed by Keighley’s National Switch Factory for 25 years. He lived in Main Street, Haworth, for nearly 30 years, but had been living at Windsor Crescent in Oakworth for the past two years.

Mr Mitchell’s funeral service will take place at 2.30pm tomorrow at Oakworth Crematorium.

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