Memorial to war hero
A VICTORIA Cross hero from Suffolk is to be commemorated with a memorial plaque in his hometown, it was announced today.A blue plaque is being put up at The Pickerel Inn, Stowmarket, to honour Spencer Bent VC, born in the town.
A VICTORIA Cross hero from Suffolk is to be commemorated with a memorial plaque in his hometown, it was announced today.
A blue plaque is being put up at The Pickerel Inn, Stowmarket, to honour Spencer Bent VC, born in the town.
The First World War hero was awarded the highest British honour for gallantry in battle when he was 23.
He rescued a fallen comrade from the field in Belgium on November 3, 1914, while under heavy enemy fire - and took a German bullet in the leg in the process.
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His grandparents were landlords at the Stowupland Street pub.
Emily Adie, deputy town clerk, is on the project committee.
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She said: "As far as we know there are no memorials to him in the town and we want to make sure his bravery isn't forgotten.
"The older generation will certainly know about him but this will make his name last among the youngsters as well.
"We are also hoping to organise a framed picture and information piece inside the pub."
The Suffolk branch of the Western Front Association, the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association, the Blue Plaque Heritage Society, The Queens Lancashire Regiment (who Bent served with) and his former employers Courage Brewers are all being approached for funding.
The soldier was born in Stowmarket in 1891 and spent his early childhood in Spikes Lane, on the outskirts of the town.
He served in the army until 1925, reaching the rank of Regimental Sergeant-Major.
After service, he ran a pub called The Victoria Cross in Kent and died aged 86 in 1977.
Steve Williams, Stowmarket historian, said: "This will mark a very important part of the history of Stowmarket so it's a project I'm very supportive of.
"Hopefully it will create interest to see whether there's anyone else of note worth dedicating a plaque to."
An unveiling ceremony for the plaque will take place on Tuesday, November 2, at noon – the 90th anniversary of his bravery.
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