Memorial service to be held for Dereham war hero

William O'Callaghan with his troop at a POW camp on February 15, 1942. Pixcture: Archant

William O'Callaghan with his troop at a POW camp on February 15, 1942. Pixcture: Archant - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

The annual memorial service for Dereham war hero William O'Callaghan is to be held on Sunday. 

Every year since 1989, a remembrance service has been held for Private O'Callaghan, who carried his injured comrade Bert Pooley to safety during the Le Paradis massacre - despite being injured himself. 

The two men were the only survivors of the May 1940 massacre when German soldiers machine-gunned and bayonetted 97 captured soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Norfolks and 1st battalion The Royal Scots, as well as other units.

Pte O'Callaghan's son, Dennis, said that last year's service had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. 

The short service will be held outdoors at 11am on Sunday 23 May at Pte O'Callaghan's Dereham namesake: William O'Callaghan Place - close to the junction of Becclesgate and Swaffham Road.

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