Lowestoft war hero is remembered in commemoration service

A commemorative Victoria Cross stone being unveiled in Lowestoft in memory of Claude Castleton who f

A commemorative Victoria Cross stone being unveiled in Lowestoft in memory of Claude Castleton who fought in the First World War.During the service.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

He was an ordinary man who made the most extraordinary of sacrifices on a First World War battlefield.

Claud Castleton, from Lowestoft, who was awarded the Victoria Cross in the first world war

Claud Castleton, from Lowestoft, who was awarded the Victoria Cross in the first world war - Credit: Archant

And now, Claude Castleton's home town has honoured his remarkable bravery after he went out in the face of intense enemy fire to carry wounded soldiers to safety - before succumbing to gunfire himself.

The story of how the son of a builder with a thirst for adventure gave his life when faced with extreme danger has lived long in the memory of Lowestoft, where he was from.

Yesterday (Sunday, July 24) - 100 years on from that fateful day at the Battle of Pozières - dignitaries including The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare Countess of Euston, gathered for a service to unveil a commemorative stone by the town's war memorial.

Community leaders said they hope the stone will continue to remind people of the sacrifices made not just by Claude Castleton but all soldiers who fought in the conflict.

A commemorative Victoria Cross stone being unveiled in Lowestoft in memory of Claude Castleton who f

A commemorative Victoria Cross stone being unveiled in Lowestoft in memory of Claude Castleton who fought in the First World War.Standard bearers and parade march off.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016


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Lady Euston said the event, which included a parade march, readings and prayers, was a 'very moving occasion'.

She added: 'Claude Castleton was on of the bravest Suffolk boys and we remember all of them who fought and died in the Great War.'

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Waveney District Council chairman Mark Bee said: 'It's hard to think on a beautiful July day here what they would've gone through.

'There's a lot going on to commemorate the 100th anniversary. It's so important we do, as these are ways of making sure we learn lessons from the past.'

Sonia Barker, Labour opposition group leader on Waveney District Council, said: 'What's really important is that we never forget the sacrifices of people like Claude Castleton, who if you met in the street would seem ordinary but showed extraordinary bravery.'

Members of Claude Castleton's family also attended the event.

His great niece Mary Naylor, from Lowestoft, said it was a 'great honour' for the family.

On Friday, July 29, at 7pm, a memorial service led by the Revd Stephen Pomeroy will be held at St Nicholas Church, in Morton Road, Lowestoft.

Have you got a Lowestoft story? Email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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