Harrogate honour for VC holder Private Charles Hull

editorial image

A special commemorative paving stone will be dedicated to First World War hero Charles Hull at Harrogate’s war memorial.

The commemoration event on September 5 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Harrogate-born soldier being awarded the prestigious Victoria Cross medal.

The service is part of a Government campaign to honour the brave First World War VC recipients and will see paving stones laid out in their birth places in order to express gratitude for their acts of valour.

Its aim is to provide a lasting legacy of local heroes, and to enable residents to grasp a greater understanding of their towns’ role in the First World War.

The Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Councillor Nigel Simms, said: “This commemorative stone is a fitting way to pay tribute to a genuine hero, somebody who put his life on the line for his country and his fellow soldiers.

“It is important that such acts of courage and bravery are not forgotten by following generations and are acknowledged by the communities that these soldiers were fighting for, and I am honoured to be taking part in this ceremony to commemorate Private Hull, VC.”

Charles Hull was a Private in the 21st Lancers who was born in Harrogate in 1890 and died on February 30 1953 in Leeds. He was one of only 628 people to receive the Victoria Cross after rescuing an officer from a certain death at the hands of a tribesman in India.

The citation reads: “The latter’s horse had been shot and Private Hull took the officer up behind his own horse, under heavy fire at close range, and galloped away to safety.”

This courageous act allowed Charles to be presented with the award on September 5 1915 at the age of 25, later achieving the rank of Corporal.

The stone dedication ceremony for Charles at the Cenotaph will begin at 11am as Rev Tim Hurren, Minister of St Peter’s Church, will lead the service.

The commemoration will also feature a reading from Coun Simms, and wreaths will be laid out to represent the 21st Lancers (now the Queen’s Royal Lancers)and The Victoria Cross.

Other guests attending the service will include W Cowling DL, who will be representing the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.

The paving stone dedicated to the heroic actions of Charles Hull is one of two that will be laid in Harrogate over the next two years.Next July another stone will be placed to mark the 100th anniversary of the awarding of the Victoria Cross to Harrogate’s Lieutenant Donald Simpson Bell.