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Commemorative stone dedication for First World War VC hero

A special commemorative paving stone will be dedicated to local VC holder Private Charles Hull at The Cenotaph in Harrogate on Saturday 5 September to mark the 100th anniversary of the WW1 hero being awarded the medal

The commemoration is part of a Government campaign to honour all First World War VC recipients and will see paving stones laid out in the their birth places over the four years of the 100th anniversary of the war to remember the acts of valour that led to the award.

The aim is to honour the bravery of the VC recipients, provide a lasting legacy of local heroes within a community, and enable residents to get a better understanding of how their area fitted into the First World War story.

On 5 September 1915, at Haviz Kor on the North West Frontier of India, Private Charles Hull of the 21st Lancers, as the citation states:


“…rescued an officer from certain death at the hands of the tribesmen.  The latter’s horse had been shot and Private Hull took the officer up behind on his own horse, under heavy fire at close range, and galloped away to safety.”


Charles Hull was born in Harrogate in 1890 and died on 30 February 1953 in Leeds.  He was one of only 628 people to receive the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

At the stone dedication ceremony at the Cenotaph in Harrogate at 11am on Saturday 5 September, the Rev Tim Hurren, Minister at St Peter’s Church, will lead a commemoration and dedication service.

The service will include a reading by the Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Councillor Nigel Simms, and wreaths will be laid representing the 21st Lancers (now the Queen’s Royal Lancers) and The Victoria Cross.

The service and ceremony will also be attended by Mr W Cowling DL, representing the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.

The commemorative paving stone to Private Hull is one of two being laid in Harrogate over the next two years. Next July a commemorative stone will be laid to mark the 100th anniversary of the awarding of the VC to Harrogate’s Lieutenant Donald Simpson Bell.

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