A MAN has paid tribute to his grandfather who was the last of three brothers to die in the Great War exactly 100 years ago today.

Private William Rea, of St Dunstan's Crescent, Worcester, lost his life in the Battle of Passchendaele on September 14, 1917.

Two of Mr Rea's siblings, George and Ernest, were killed shortly before his death, although one of his brothers, Harry, survived the conflict.

The brothers were raised in Kempsey and all worked at Hill, Evans & Co vinegar works, in Worcester.

Mr Rea's grandson, Michael, aged 76, said: "William was the last of the brothers to be killed.

"He died in a hospital in Bethune [France] when he was 35. He was shot through the lungs. He left behind one kid, my dad, Reginald.

"It's a wonderful bit of history that wants recognising. It's the same as Saving Private Ryan but it's real history.

"Three out of the four brothers died in six months."

Michael Rea, who lives in Worcester, said he became interested in his family history as he grew older.

He added that his dad never told him anything about his father, who served with the Bedfordshire Regiment.

Gunner Harry (Albert) Rea was in the Royal Garrison Artillery, Private George Rea fought with the 2nd Battalion and Private Ernest Rea belonged to the Worcestershire Regiment.

Ernest died aged 21 after being shot through the head at the Battle of the Somme in 1917, while George lost his life at the age of 33 in Ypres on September 1, 1917.