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World War hero is to be honoured.

Byline: Sonia Sharma Reporter

A TEENAGE war hero whose courage changed the course of history is to be honoured at a special event.

Tyneside-born Tommy Brown was part of the crew aboard the HMS Petard which retrieved secret code-breaking books and papers used to crack the infamous Enigma code from a stricken German U-boat.

In October 1942, the 16-yearold dived into freezing waters to help First Lieutenant Anthony Fasson and Able Seaman Colin Grazier retrieve the documents from the U559 submarine before it sank.

Galley assistant Tommy, who was the youngest on board, went back to the hull three times with documents passed to him, but the rising waters trapped the other two sailors.

The documents were handed to codebreakers at the secretive Bletchley Park and experts believe it helped shorten the war, saving thousands of lives.

Tragically Tommy, of North Shields, died just three years later, trying to rescue his threeyear-old sister Maureen from their burning house.

His family received the George Medal from King George VI on his behalf in 1945.

Now Tommy's heroic actions during the Second World War will be re-enacted during this year's British Military Tournament, at Earls Court, in London, on December 7 and 8. Christopher Joll, the show's writer and director, said: "We are delighted to be honouring the three young men that showed outstanding bravery that day and whose actions helped Britain win the war against German forces.

"Our event's theme this year is Heroes and Legends, so it seems only fitting that Tommy Brown, Tony Fasson and Colin Grazier be recognised.

"The re-enactment of the rescue of the German codebooks will be a poignant reminder of the selfless act they made that day, but also promises to be a thrilling section to the show."

In 2002, an 8ft stained glass window was created to recognise Tommy's efforts. The memorial, depicting a stylised sea scene with a picture of the teenager in the centre, can be found at the Saville Exchange, in North Shields.

The military tournament will also feature other heroes and legends including Nelson at Trafalgar and Lawrence of Arabia.

In addition, visitors will be able to create their own coded message in the exhibition area using the Enigma machine.

The event is to be narrated live by British actor Anthony Andrews and will have prerecorded contributions by Carol Vorderman, Andy McNab and Martin Shaw.

The arena production will feature re-enactments, deathdefying stunts, military ceremonial set pieces, storytelling, music and audiovisuals.

The British Military Tournament is the biggest tri-forces fundraiser of the year in support of the ABF The Soldiers' Charity, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, and The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

To buy tickets or for more details, visit www.britishmilitarytournament.



World War 2 hero Tommy Brown, left his George Medal
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 22, 2013
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