War heroes not forgotten

A CAMPAIGN to get new Pocklington streets named after local war heroes has begun.

Friday, 27th April 2012, 3:06 pm

Former Pocklington resident Andrew Hart has been researching the heroic actions of local men who survived the world wars and were awarded medals for their bravery.

Because the men were not killed in action, there are no monuments or street names in their honour and this is something Mr Hart wants to change.

He said: “Whilst I can appreciate the council’s policy of naming Pocklington streets after airmen casualties based at the WW2 airfield, I think they leapfrogged a small but very important group of people that the town should be proud of and commemorate forever - our own War Heroes!

“These were local men of the town, whilst the airmen were from all over and were only based here for a couple of years.

“Obviously I have the greatest respect for the airmen and it’s right that they are being honoured, but it seems wrong to me that Pocklington’s own war heroes have not been recognised in the town in the same way.”

Mr Hart’s research has so far uncovered a dozen local men who were awarded gallantry medals during the two World Wars - and he is trying to verify details of three more.

Included in the list is Second Lieutenant Richard Wallace Annand who was awarded the first Victoria Cross of World War Two.

He showed incredible bravery during a battle at the River Dyle in Belgium by running over open ground, throwing hand grenades at the enemy when his platoon had run out of ammunition.

Despite being wounded, he went back for more and, when the order to withdraw was received, he withdrew his platoon but later returned to rescue an injured comrade - bringing him back to base in a wheelbarrow before losing consciousness due to his own wounds.

Mr Hart believes that Pocklington heroes like Lt Annard deserve to be recognised in their home town.

He said: “These men are exceptional, they faced war and not only survived but carried out their service above and beyond the call of duty.

“Because they survived they have been forgotten. We should show them the greatest respect, they earned it in the extreme.”

The Mayor of Pocklington, Graham Perry said that the council was open to Mr Hart’s suggestion, but said that it was a ‘sensitive’ subject which needed further investigation.

“The council have discussed it and are doing further work in identifying war heroes so that we can have a complete and accurate list,” he said.

“Traditionally, streets have been named after such people and all of this is to be discussed further within the council and concluded.

“It is clearly a sensitive subject that we need to get factually correct and conclude then how we will go forward with the applcation of the names.”