Posted: Tue 25th Oct 2016

Centenary of Milford VC hero marked

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 25th, 2016

A paving stone to honour World War One soldier, Hubert Lewis, has been unveiled in his home town of Milford Haven. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The stone was laid to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Private Lewis being awarded the Victoria Cross (VC). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It is the highest award of the United Kingdom honours system and is awarded for gallantry in the face of the enemy to members of the British armed forces. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Known as ‘Stokey’, Private Lewis is Pembrokeshire’s only home-grown VC recipient. He died in Milford Haven in 1977. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He was only 20 when he found himself stationed in Salonica, Greece, in October, 2016. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

During a raid, Private Lewis was twice wounded on reaching the enemy trenches, but refused to be attended to. He was wounded again while searching enemy dug-outs and again refused assistance. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

At this point, three of the enemy approached and Private Lewis immediately attacked them single-handed, capturing all three. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Later, during the retirement, he went to the assistance of a wounded man and, under heavy shell and rifle fire, brought him back safely, after which he collapsed. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

On Saturday, Milford Haven Town Council organised a ceremony in the Memorial Gardens opposite the town hall to mark the centenary of Private Lewis receiving the VC. A memorial to him already stands there. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

During the service, Pembrokeshire County Council Chairman, Tony Brinsden, was invited to unveil the paving stone which had been donated to the Authority by the Department of Local Communities and Government in Westminster as part of a nationwide scheme to mark the recipients of all VCs from World War One. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Joint Communities and Wales Office Minister Lord Bourne said: “The stone laid in Private Hubert Lewis’ memory is a fitting tribute to his extraordinary bravery and valour. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I hope this ceremony will bring the residents of Milford Haven and Wales together and encourage them to learn more about the role of their local First World War hero. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“A century may have passed but we still owe those who fought and died for our liberty a huge debt of gratitude.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Caption
Councillor Brinsden is pictured after unveiling the paving stones. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

councillor-brinsden ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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