Ceremony to honour soldier’s brave efforts
A commemorative paving stone is to be unveiled to mark the centenary of a brave Bourne soldier earning the Victoria Cross.
Acting Corporal Charles Sharpe was awarded the highest military decoration for valour for his gallantry in the First World War leading a blocking party to capture German trenches in a successful bombing exercise.
The Corporal in the 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, was honoured for his bravery in securing territory beyond the operation’s aims as he took control of a further 250-yard trench during the Battle of Aubers Ridge in France on May 9, 1915.
Father Chris Atkinson will lead a short service ahead of the unveiling of the commemorative paving stone at Bourne War Memorial on Friday, May 8, at 2pm.
The event is part of a national campaign to lay commemorative paving stones as a lasting legacy in the home towns of each of the 628 World War One Victoria Cross recipients.
A Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories.
Born in Pickworth in 1889, Mr Sharpe was 26 when he was awarded the VC for his bravery in the field and his medal is held at South Kesteven District Council’s offices in Grantham.
Members of his family, including Mr Sharpe’s grand son and granddaughter have been invited to the ceremony.
Major David Falconer from the Lincolnshire Company Second Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment and Major Ed Matts of No. 2 Company Lincolnshire and Leicestershire Third Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment will attend and The Royal Anglian bugler will sound the Last Post.
Ken Willows of the Regimental Association will read a homage and guests from South Kesteven District Council will also attend.
Paul Stokes, the district council’s venues and facilities business manager, said: “Bourne and South Kesteven has this chance to celebrate the courage of Corporal Sharpe and the incredible skill and bravery he showed in duty.
“The event will respectfully mark the commitment he made to his country that day in 1915 and we’re pleased the event has already attracted excellent support from the local community and military.”
Members of the public are welcome to attend the event but are asked to notify organisers South Kesteven District Council.
If wishing to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01476 40 60 80 or write to PR, SKDC, St Peter’s Hill, Grantham, NG31 6PZ by Monday.
For more details visit www.southkesteven.gov.uk.