Memorial unveiled

A LASTING reminder of one of Suffolk's war heroes is today in pride of place in his hometown.Spencer Bent, a Victoria Cross hero from the First World War, has been commemorated with a memorial plaque close to where he lived in Stowmarket.

A LASTING reminder of one of Suffolk's war heroes is today in pride of place in his hometown.

Spencer Bent, a Victoria Cross hero from the First World War, has been commemorated with a memorial plaque close to where he lived in Stowmarket.

A blue plaque has been put up at The Pickerel Inn, Stowupland Street, where his grandparents were landlords.

The memorial was unveiled yesterday in front of the town's mayor Gordon Paton.

He said: "It was a very moving ceremony and very humbling thinking about the sacrifices he made.

"It's people like that we owe our freedom to and I was very proud to be part of the service.

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"He was a very brave man and won a military medal as well as the Victoria Cross.

"He was shot in the leg saving a comrade but went back to the western front to fight in the Battle of the Somme.

"He was injured again and sent home to recover but still went back again."

The serviceman was given the Victoria Cross - the highest British honour for gallantry in battle - for rescuing a fallen comrade from the field in Belgium on November 2, 1914, while under heavy enemy fire.

He was just 23 years old and serving with the Queen's Lancashire Regiment. A representative from the regiment attended the ceremony yesterday.

He 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.

WEBLINK:www.victoriacross.org.uk

Do you think more of our war heroes should be commemorated? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstar-letters@eveningstar.co.uk

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