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Antony Cotton: We must keep First World War legacies alive

Antony Cotton (Ian West/PA)
Antony Cotton (Ian West/PA)

Coronation Street star Antony Cotton says he has heard “jaw-dropping stories” of bravery as part of his role as an ambassador for a military charity.

Cotton, 43, who plays Sean Tully on the cobbles, is a long-term supporter of the Armed Forces charity SSAFA.

It was the only national military charity around at the outbreak of the First World War, when it looked after families of the men who went to fight on the front line.

Cotton told the Press Association: “Legacies are so important but they sometimes get lost in the numbers, especially in the Great War…

“It’s really important to bring their legacies to life and remember them…

“If you’ve got a relative, a next-door neighbour who has a relative, it’s so important to put their stories out there, to tell the world their names.

“I’m a pacifist. I don’t agree with war or guns. But I do fully support the human aspect… what that service means, what the commitment means.”

And Cotton, who has a photograph of an ancestor in a First World War uniform who his family have never managed to identify, added: “I’ve heard so many amazing stories of veterans in the past 10 years – jaw-dropping stories of bravery and their day-to-day lives of what they’ve endured, sacrificed.

“Yet we’re living in an age where people are obsessed with taking photographs of themselves in gym mirrors and putting them on Instagram.”

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