Chatteris Royal British Legion awarded £10,000 for research project in memory of Victoria Cross winner George Clare

Private George William Burdett Clare was awarded the Victoria Cross in November 1917 following his d

Private George William Burdett Clare was awarded the Victoria Cross in November 1917 following his death at Bourlon Wood, France on 29 November 2017. Chatteris is preparing to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his death later this year and have won £10,000 lottery funding for the event. - Credit: Archant

The Chatteris branch of the Royal British Legion has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to remember the town’s Victoria Cross winner, George Clare.

The project, titled ‘George Clare VC. A Town Commemorates’, will focus on activities to research and remember the town’s Victoria Cross winner around the time of the centenary of his death, November 29 2017.

People will be invited to work together with Chatteris Museum and expert military historians to create a high quality publication and exhibition, which shall illustrate Clare’s life in Chatteris and his experience in the First World War.

Youth members of Chatteris RBL will research George’s role as a stretcher-bearer and how casualties were dealt with in the First World War and will work with a professional re-enactment company to re-create a First World War first aid station.

Major Norman Larke, chairman of Chatteris RBL, said: “It is not every community in the United Kingdom that has the opportunity to commemorate the valorous activities of one of their own: especially a soldier who was awarded the country’s highest award for valour, The Victoria Cross.

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“There can be no doubt that this soldier would have in the main been forgotten about or dare I say it not known by a very high percentage of the local community.

“This event will focus all the community, young and old, family and friends to come together and be thankful George was there to make our future safe for all children.

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“The youth of the branch and our affiliates will work together and learn about the day to day activities of those involved in the saving the lives of the wounded, the conditions of which these men worked and the gratitude the nation bestowed on these brave young men.”

George Clare was born in St Ives but grew up in Chatteris. He enlisted into the Bedfordshire Yeomanry near the outbreak of the First World War before being transferred to the 5th Irish Lancers. George was killed in action on the night of November 28 1917 at Bourlon Wood during the Battle of Cambrai.

Formal commemorations will take place on the centenary of Clare’s death and representatives from across the town will be encouraged to take part.

If you would like to take part in researching and writing the publication, join the RBL youth members (age 12-17) or in the formal commemorations, contact Norman Larke via 01354 694375 or

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