Victoria Cross recipients
In 2018, four Victoria Cross paving stones were unveiled in Haringey as part of the national commemorative centenary events of the 1914-1918 War. The four Victoria Cross recipients had all lived in the borough. Their stories and why they were awarded a VC - and now honoured with a paving stone - are described below:
- Cpt Edward Bamford
- Acting Major Brett Mackay Cloutman
- Private Robert Edward Cruickshank
- Lt Alfred Herring
Born: 28 May 1887, Highgate (resided on Langdon Park Road)
Died: 30 September 1928 HMS Cumberland
Action: Zeebrugge, 22/23 April 1918
On 22nd/23rd April 1918 at Zeebrugge, Belgium, Captain Bamford landed on the Mole from HMS Vindictive with three platoons of the Royal Marines storming force in the face of great difficulties. When on the Mole and under heavy fire, he commanded his company with total disregard of personal danger and he showed a magnificent example to his men. He first established a strong point on the right of the disembarkation and when satisfied that it was safe, led an assault on the battery to the left.
- Edward Bamford’s commemorative event took place at Hornsey War Memorial, N8 on 17 April 2018.
- Download the event programme here (PDF, 275KB)
Born: 9 April 1887, Muswell Hill
Died: 15 August 1991, Highgate
Action: 6 November 1918, Pont-sur-Sambre, France (the last action to win a VC in the War)
Major Cloutman, after reconnoitering the river crossings, found the Quartes Bridge almost intact but prepared for demolition. Leaving his party under cover he went forward alone, swam across the river and having cut the 'leads' from the charges returned the same way, despite the fact that the bridge and all the approaches were swept by enemy shells and machine-gun fire. Although the bridge was blown up later in the day by other means, the abutments remained intact.
Major Cloutman is also memorialised in Golders Green Cemetery, as one of the 14 VC recipients cremated there.
Brett Cloutman's commemorative event took place at Hornsey War Memorial, 151 Park Road, London N8 8JD on 6 November 2018, 11am.
Born: 17 June 1888, Winnipeg, Canada
Died: 30 August 1961, Leicestershire
Lived 18 Roseberry Gardens, Harringay (St Ann’s ward) when discharged from the Army and was active in local politics and scouting after his return from the War.
Action: Egypt, 1 May 1918
The platoon to which Private Cruickshank belonged came under very heavy rifle and machine-gun fire at short range and was led down a steep bank into a wadi, most of the men being hit before they reached the bottom. Immediately after reaching the bottom of the wadi the officer in command was shot dead, and the sergeant who then took over command sent a runner back to Company Headquarters asking for support, but was mortally wounded almost immediately after; the corporal having in the meantime been killed, the only remaining N.C.O. (a lance-corporal), believing the first messenger to have been killed, called for a volunteer to take a second message back.
Pvt Cruickshank immediately responded and rushed up the slope, but was hit and rolled back into the wadi bottom. He again rose and rushed up the slope, but, being again wounded, rolled back into the wadi. After his wounds had been dressed he rushed a third time up the slope and again fell badly wounded. Being now unable to stand he rolled himself back amid a hail of bullets. His wounds were now of such a nature as to preclude him making any further attempt and he lay all day in a dangerous position, being sniped at and again wounded where he lay. He displayed the utmost valour and endurance, and was cheerful and uncomplaining throughout.
- Robert Cruickshank’s commemorative event took place at Tottenham War Memorial, N15 on 8 May 2018
Born: 26 October 1888 - Tottenham, Grove ward
Died: 10 August 1966 - Weybridge, Surrey
Attended Bruce Grove School, lived on The Avenue (Bruce Grove)
Action: Montagne Bridge, France, 23/24 March 1918
On 23/24 March 1918 at Montagne Bridge, France, the enemy had gained a position on the south bank of the canal and Second Lieutenant Herring's post was surrounded, but he immediately counter-attacked and recaptured the position, together with 20 prisoners and six machine-guns. During the night the post was continually attacked, but all attacks were beaten off, largely because Lieutenant Herring was frequently visiting his men and cheering them up. It was owing to his bravery and magnificent handling of his troops that the enemy advance was held up for 11 hours at a very critical period.
Lieutenant Herring is also memorialised at the Alfred Herring pub, Palmers Green and at the Freemasons Memorial (member of Hampstead Lodge).
Lieutenant Herring’s ceremony took place at Tottenham War Memorial on Friday 23 March.
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