Concern over street award for VC men

Concern over street award for VC men

Concerns have been raised that some World War One winners of the Victoria Cross, who were to get special paving stones in their home towns, will miss out.

Six men from Northern Ireland were bestowed with the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration awarded for "valour in the face of the enemy".

They're set to be honoured further next year on the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, when the streets of the Northern Ireland towns and villages they were from will be paved with commemorative stones remembering them.

However there has been some worry that some of the winners of the VC who spent most of their lives here, but weren't born in NI, will not be included.

This would affect men such as Lieutenant Colonel Richard West.

He spent much of his life in Co Fermanagh, and was even in the North Irish Horse unit when he rallied the troops in the face of certain death at Courcelles in France.

Then there is John Spencer Dunville, who was born in Marylebone in London in 1896, but his family had very strong ties to Holywood.

His father was chairman of Dunville and Company whiskey distillers. He got the Victoria Cross for his actions as a second lieutenant in the 1st Royal Dragoons in 1917 in France.

Local historians have told UTV that the men should also be honoured.

David Truesdale said: "Dunville is an Irish VC recipient and he's a Co Down recipient, there's no argument about it at all - where you're from is really irrelevant."

The question of whether someone is actually 'from' Northern Ireland or not has become an interesting one in the context of this debate.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government, it will be prepared to discuss each case.

It said: "We would encourage local authorities, who are responsible for deciding where the paving stones will be placed, to talk with one another if they feel that a town outside of the recipient's birth place would be more appropriate to receive the paving stone."

So, it means we could yet see those Victoria Cross winners who weren't born here, but with strong associations here, honoured after all.

© UTV

Elsewhere on the Web

UTV Digest

Your daily digest of the most popular UTV Stories

Back to Top