War hero who carried wounded soldiers to safety in World War One is remembered in Chatteris
- Credit: Archant
George Clare died in action in 1917 when he stepped in as stretcher bearer, carrying wounded soldiers to safety from heavy machine gun fire, in a battle in France in WW1.
His bravery earned him the highest honour of the Victoria Cross.
Now, a century after he was killed, his heroism was remembered forever in Chatteris when a plaque was unveiled on his former home in Clare Street and a paving stone unveiled at the war memorial.
Tina Prior, spokesman for the Chatteris branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “It was a very moving ceremony.
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“More than 100 people joined the event including his family. People were genuinely, incredibly proud to know that this man, a war hero, came from our little town.”
Joining the event were members of his family, standard bearers, the Band of Lancers which George’s regiment amalgamated into, the Mayor of St Ives where he was born, the Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Neil McKittrick, members of Chatteris Royal British Legion, cadets, Chatteris town councillors, Fenland district councillors and members of the public.
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• The Victoria Cross was introduced in 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since then, the medal has been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individuals. Only 15 medals have been awarded since the Second World War.
• George Clare was 28 years old, and a private in the 5th Lancers when he died. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in November 1917 at Bourlon Wood, France during the Battle of Cambrai.
• The London Gazette, January 1918, wrote that Clare: “Acted as a stretcher-bearer during an intense and continuous enemy bombardment, He dressed and conducted wounded over the open to the dressing-station about 500 yards away. At one period, when all the garrison of a detached post, lying out in the open about 150 yards to the left of the line occupied, had become casualties, he crossed the intervening space, which was continually swept by heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, and having dressed all the cases, manned the post single-handed till a relief could be sent.”