Village to honour wartime hero, 100 years on

Harry Blanshard Wood - war hero
Harry Blanshard Wood - war hero

Residents of Newton Upon Derwent are to mark the bravery of a wartime hero from their village, with the unveiling of a special memorial plinth.

Harry Blanshard Wood was awarded the Victoria Cross in October 1918 – the only soldier from the East Riding of Yorkshire to receive the highest award for gallantry during World War One.

On October 13, people from the village will remember hero Harry, whose actions saved the lives of many during the First World War.

The Archbishop of York will be joining people from Newton Upon Rawcliffe on a special day for Harry’s family as well as the village itself.

A civic reception, which includes a special service and military parade, will take place on the village’s only street at 12.30pm.

To help remember Harry’s gallantry, residents will be joined by the Harry’s surviving relatives, along with the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu , the Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire and representatives from the Scots Guards, the regiment to which Harry belonged.

Officials from the French village where Harry’s brave actions saved the lives of many servicemen are also making the journey to Yorkshire to pay their respects.

The event, which has been supported by a heritage lottery grant, has been four years in the planning and has been organised by Newton’s local history group.

Almost 400 people are expected to arrive in the village for the event – more than doubling its population.

The group’s spokesperson, Margaret Horsley, said: “Until recently, many people in the village were unaware of Harry’s existence.

“In this special commemorative year to mark a hundred years since the end of the First World War, we felt it was time Harry was properly recognised.

“This permanent memorial will ensure his bravery on the battlefield will be remembered by future generations.”

If you want to see Harry’s medal, it is on display at York Castle Museum.