Tunnellers Memorial - Remarkable Man with Victoria Cross

Posted in: World War I
Written by Kris Kurzydlo on 23rd June 2010 at 16:13pm
Tunnellers Memorial - Remarkable Man with Victoria Cross

94 Years ago on the edge of the small French village of Givenchy lès la Bassée in French Flanders William Hackett earned his Victoria Cross. On 19th of June 2010 one chapter of his and his colleagues story has been closed when Tunnellers Memorial Ceremony took place last Saturday.


Peter Barton, who has been researching the work of the Royal Engineers Tunnelling Companies for over 25 years, was determined to mark Royal engineers effort in the First World War. He dedicated his time and effort which resulted in Saturday's ceremony. On the way to ceremony it proved that finding funds for the memorial is the trickiest part of the whole project. Final shape of the memorial is closely connected to Tunnellers unit's symbolism. The memorial is shaped to be the same size as the gallery in which two brave man died and yellow “T” symbol which once emblazoned the Tunnellers uniforms now stays in the middle of the field where entry to the gallery used to be. About 300 guests from 4 Countries were present and Nottingham Band of the Royal Engineers (Volunteers) created great atmosphere. There were Speeches from the local mayor, Peter Barton and Jeremy Banning. The ground was blessed by the Rev Pat Aldred. Wreaths were laid by the French, British, Canadian and New Zealanders.

We are pleased to see that another piece of history has been saved and memory of the two men who still lie forty feet beneath is honoured 

 

You can see full information about the story on our War Memorial Tours blog or you can watch BBC report from the event by Carwyn Jones here   

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