Sutton Council is seeking relatives of the borough’s only Victoria Cross winner for ideas on a special commemoration.
This year marks 100 years since the start of the First World War and as part of this occasion, the Council intends to commemorate The Great War at a local level and to encourage a strong local focus bringing cultural, heritage, educational and community organisations together.
The Department for Communities and Local Government announced a programme to commemorate local Victoria Cross recipients of the First World War, by laying down paving stones. The London Borough of Sutton plays home to one such recipient, Alfred Pollard.
The paving stones will be presented to Councils across the country commencing in August 2014. However, the laying of the stone for Mr Pollard will be in April 2017 – the anniversary of the battle for which he was awarded his Victoria Cross.
On 29 April 1917 at Gavrelle, France, the troops had become disorganised as a result of heavy casualties from shell fire and a later attack caused further confusion. Second Lieutenant Pollard realised the seriousness of the situation and with only four men he started a counter-attack until he had broken the enemy attack and regained all that had been lost and much ground in addition. Such bravery and courage inspired every man who saw him.
Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake said: “Mr. Pollard is not just a local hero but also a national hero. His bravery and courage must never be forgotten and with commemorations like these, not only we will never forget, but generations to come will learn of Alfred Pollard.”
Sutton Council is now asking for relatives of Mr. Pollard to get in touch and give their views on locations for the paving stone and a commemorative event, including a mini exhibition.