East Riding Victoria Cross hero honoured at Newton on Derwent

VC hero Corporal Harry Blanshard Wood.
VC hero Corporal Harry Blanshard Wood.

A Victoria Cross commemorative stone in honour of a First World war hero is to be unveiled in his birthplace village in the East Riding.

The stone in honour of Corporal Harry Blanshard Wood, VC, MM 2nd Battalion Scots Guards will be unveiled in Newton on Derwent tomorrow (Saturday 13 October), at 1pm.

The memorial stone.

The memorial stone.

The ceremony will take place exactly 100 years after the brave actions which earned him the Victoria Cross.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has organised the ceremony to mark the unveiling of the commemorative stone, by the Lord-Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire, the Hon Mrs Susan Cunliffe-Lister. The stone will be dedicated and blessed by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

The ceremony, on a grassed area in the centre of Newton on Derwent, will be preceded by a parade from the Half Moon Inn.

Among those attending will be relatives of Corporal Wood, who received the Victoria Cross for ‘conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during operations at the village of St Python, France, on 13 October 1918.’

The citation said he had showed complete disregard for his personal safety and his gallant conduct and initiative had contributed largely to the success of the day’s operations.

After the war, he was given a civic reception in York, and in 1920 he was part of the Guard of Honour of 100 Victoria Cross winners at the burial of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. When he died in 1924 his funeral was like a state occasion.

In August 2013, the Government announced a campaign to honour those awarded with a Victoria Cross during the First World War, with commemorative stones to be laid in or close to the birth place of the recipient providing a lasting legacy of local heroes within their communities.

The chairman of the East Riding, Councillor Margaret Chadwick, will lay a wreath during the ceremony.