Bravery of First World War veteran and Victoria Cross recipient Harry Cator commemorated at ceremony in Drayton

Harry Cator commemoration. PIC: Simon Finlay.

Harry Cator commemoration. PIC: Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant

A First World War veteran who was awarded the Victoria Cross for capturing enemy soldiers whilst under heavy machine gun fire has been commemorated 100 years after his brave actions.

Captain Harry Cator VC is remembered at St Margaret's Church, Drayton, with a Service of Reflection

Captain Harry Cator VC is remembered at St Margaret's Church, Drayton, with a Service of Reflection and the Ceremonial Unveiling of Commemorative Stone in the Florence Carter Memorial Park which was attended by Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk Richard Jewson who unveiled the stone with Harry Cator's three grandchildren(l to r) Richard Cator, Robert Cator and Rosanne Liversidge. PIC: Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant

It was on April 9 1917, in the French town of Arras, the then Sergeant Harry Cator made his way to the enemy trench with a companion who was killed almost immediately.

Sergeant Cator succeeded in approaching the enemy and killed the machine gun team, allowing him to hold the position until support could reach him. His actions resulted in the capture of enemy soldiers and further machine guns and led to him being awarded the prestigious medal.

Now, a century later, the gallantry of Mr Cator, who later served as a captain in the Home Guard during the Second World War, was commemorated in Drayton, the village where he was born.

Mr Cator's three grandchildren, who were contacted following help from this paper, were among about 200 guests to attend the ceremony at St Margarets Church on Sunday (April 9).

Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk Richard Jewson who unveiled the commemorative stone . PIC: Simon FInlay.

Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk Richard Jewson who unveiled the commemorative stone . PIC: Simon FInlay. - Credit: Archant


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Members of the armed forces and civic figures, including the Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk Richard Jewson, also attended the ceremony which was followed by the unveiling of a commemorative paving stone in Florence Carter Memorial Park.

The event, which was hosted by Drayton Parish Council and Broadland Council, is part of a nationwide scheme by the Department for Communities and Local Government which will see a commemorative paving stone laid in the place of birth of every VC recipient of the First World War.

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Graham Everett, chairman of Drayton Parish Council, said it was an 'historic day for Drayton' adding that it was a 'real privilege' to be able to honour Harry Cator's courage in such a way.

Phil Kirby, chief executive of Broadland District Council said: 'It is important that Harry Cator lives on in our local history and he, along with all others who have served in the military, is remembered in our community.'

Commemorative stone to Harry Cator. PIC: Simon Finlay.

Commemorative stone to Harry Cator. PIC: Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant

Mr Cator, who later settled Sprowston died in 1966, aged 72.

He was laid to rest in Sprowston cemetery.

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