Special ceremony to be held for Derbyshire First World War hero who was awarded Victoria Cross

The bravery and leadership of a north east Derbyshire First World War hero who was presented with the Victoria Cross will be celebrated at a special ceremony.

Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 3:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th September 2017, 2:08 pm

Fred Greaves, who was born in Killamarsh and served with the 9th Batallion Sherwood Foresters, was awarded Britain’s highest military honour for his courageous behaviour during the conflict on October 4 1917 at Poelcapelle, east of Ypres, Belgium.

On Sunday (October 1) a commemoration event will be held to mark the achievements of Mr Greaves, 100 on years from his fearless act.

According to the history books, Mr Greaves was awarded the Victoria Cross for: “The most conspicuous bravery, initiative and leadership, when his platoon was temporarily held up by machine-gun fire from a concrete stronghold. Seeing that his Platoon Commander and Sergeant were casualties and, realising that unless this post was taken quickly, his men would lose the barrage.

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“Corporal Greaves, followed by another non-commissioned officer, rushed forwards regardless of his personal safety, reached the rear of the building and bombed the occupants, killing or capturing the garrison, and taking four enemy machine guns.

“The effect of Cpl. Greaves’ conduct on his men throughout the battle cannot be overestimated, and those under his command responded gallantly to his example.”

Mr Greaves was presented with the Victoria Cross at Buckingham Palace in January 1918.

Mr Greaves was born in Killamarsh on May 16 1890 and died in Brimington in June 1973.

The event takes place at Killamarsh War Memorial, High Street, Killamarsh, on Sunday at 2.30pm. The High Street will be closed between 2.15pm and 3.15pm.