Portsmouth boy inspired by the brave actions of his great-grandad

Charlie Evans and his great grandfather Leonard Graham, who is pictured inset in his navy days. Picture: Malcolm Wells (143230-6136)
Charlie Evans and his great grandfather Leonard Graham, who is pictured inset in his navy days. Picture: Malcolm Wells (143230-6136)

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WHEN Charlie Evans’ school announced they would be having a superheroes day, there was only one person he wanted to dress up as.

So the 11-year-old got up yesterday and dressed as a sailor, in honour of his great grandad, Leonard Graham.

GRANDAD SUPERHERO    (RS)     MRW    13/11/2014  ''Superhero and Super Great Grandson ! - for his Superhero Day at Craneswater Junior School Charlie Evans (11) wanted to pay respect to his Great Grandfather Leonard Graham (81) so he donned a uniform loaned by The Historic Dockyard of the era for HMS Theseus ''Leonard Graham at the age of seventeen ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (143230-6147) PPP-141113-165011003

GRANDAD SUPERHERO (RS) MRW 13/11/2014 ''Superhero and Super Great Grandson ! - for his Superhero Day at Craneswater Junior School Charlie Evans (11) wanted to pay respect to his Great Grandfather Leonard Graham (81) so he donned a uniform loaned by The Historic Dockyard of the era for HMS Theseus ''Leonard Graham at the age of seventeen ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (143230-6147) PPP-141113-165011003

The 83-year-old served for the Royal Navy as a stoker and fought in the Korean war on board HMS Theseus.

Charlie’s mum organised for him to borrow a costume from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Charlie is a pupil at Craneswater Junior School in Southsea. The school organised the superheroes day for Children in Need.

He said: ‘He is my hero because he’s the bravest, toughest man I know.

‘It was good, I really enjoyed dressing up. It was really exciting. My friends were saying it’s a nice costume.

‘I want to be in the Royal Navy when I’m older.’

And his great-grandad added: ‘I’m so proud. I will make sure I salute him.’

Mum Jodie Newell, 30, from Cornwall Road in Fratton, said: ‘I was really emotional. I’m really close to my grandad. I lived with him when I was growing up. We are all really close to him. He’s everyone’s hero.

‘I was impressed because all Charlie’s friends were talking about dressing up as Spiderman or Batman.

‘It means a lot to us as a family. It’s amazing for Charlie as he is living in Portsmouth and it is a navy city.

‘For Charlie at such a young age, to pick up on that and look up to his grandad, I think that gives him great prospects for the future.’

Vicki Di Marco is a Year 6 teacher at the school and teaches Charlie.

She said: ‘We went on a trip last Friday for Remembrance Day to the Royal Marines Museum.

‘I think that had an influence on him to dress as a war hero.

‘Most children came as a traditional superhero. But he thought a bit differently about it.

‘He was looking at people who had given their lives for our country.

‘It’s a lovely idea. It’s really unusual but it’s brilliant timing with Remembrance Day being this week.

‘It’s a lovely touch. He is obviously very proud of his great-grandad.

‘I think it has inspired others. The children made a really big fuss of him. He looked fantastic.’