One hundred years after the end of the First World War commemorative paving stones for Leamington-born heroes of the conflict were unveiled at the town's war memorial on Sunday (September 23).
In a joint ceremony, the stones were unveiled by relatives of Lt John Cridlan Barrett (Leicestershire Regiment) and Pte Henry Tandey (the Green Howards and the Duke of Wellington Regiment), who were both awarded the Victoria Cross in September 1918.
The tribute forms part of the Government-led initiative to provide a lasting legacy of Victoria Cross recipients from the First World War by laying a paving stone in the birth place of each of the 454 UK-born residents.
The event was attended by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, the High Sheriff, Vice Chairman of the District Council and Mayor of Royal Leamington Spa together with representatives of the military including members of the Regimental Associations in which John Barrett and Henry Tandey served during World War 1.
The Mayor of Royal Leamington Spa, Councillor Heather Calver commented:
“It is a great honour to unveil these commemorative stones and pay tribute to two such courageous men from our community. The location of these stones next to the War Memorial, not only recognises their individual bravery, but also reminds us all of the incredible sacrifice made by so many others from our district and town during this tragic conflict.”
Warwick District Council’s Vice Chairman, Councillor George Illingworth commented:
“We very much hope that these stones, and the reasons for their installation, will serve as a reminder of the debt our generation owes to those who went before us. Their valour must never be forgotten.”
Councillor Adrian Barton from the Royal Leamington Spa Branch of the Royal British Legion added:
“The Royal British Legion is proud to be associated with the laying of these stones in recognition of the selfless bravery by two local soldiers. The positioning of these stones at the war memorial will ensure they are remembered for their bravery in years to come.”