War hero who became first Norfolk man to be given the Victoria Cross honoured at Wymondham ceremony

The commemoration of Wymondham's Harry Daniels at the town's war memorial, Norfolk's first Victoria

The commemoration of Wymondham's Harry Daniels at the town's war memorial, Norfolk's first Victoria Cross hero of World War One. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

He is regarded as one of the greatest heroes of the First World War, a Wymondham baker's son whose bravery inspired his comrades.

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And today, dozens from around the county joined senior military figures as they commemorated Lieutenant Colonel Harry Daniels in the heart of his birthplace.

As the sun shone down on the town's war memorial, a commemorative paving stone and information board were unveiled - 100 years to the day since the soldier ventured into a stretch of no-man's land covered by machine guns and strewn with barbed wire.

It was a desperate attempt to save the lives of his men - and one that saw him become the first man in Norfolk to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

This morning, former head of the army General Lord Richard Dannatt and Richard Jewson, Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, gave speeches, while descendants of Harry travelled from London to take up their places.

The commemoration of Wymondham's Harry Daniels at the town's war memorial, Norfolk's first Victoria

The commemoration of Wymondham's Harry Daniels at the town's war memorial, Norfolk's first Victoria Cross hero of World War One. The commemorative paving stone. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015


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Mr Jewson described Lieutenant Colonel Daniels as 'remarkable' and said that, in the year of the First World War's centenary, it was important to remember all who fought in the war.

Harry was born in Market Street on December 13, 1884 and is thought to be the 13th of 16 children.

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His father ran a bakery business just a short walk from the new memorial stone.

The family moved back to Norwich after less than six years in the town when, in the space of a little less than two years, Harry lost both his parents to cancer.

Harry Daniels VC pictured with his wife, Kathleen, during his hero’s welcome home in June 1915.

Harry Daniels VC pictured with his wife, Kathleen, during his hero’s welcome home in June 1915. - Credit: Archant

Nicknamed 'Spitfire', Harry's military career started in the 2nd Battalion, the Rifle Brigade. Over the course of 11 years, mostly spent on garrison duty in India, he rose from rifleman to senior warrant officer.

For a full write-up of the event and pictures, see tomorrow's paper.

For more detail on Harry's life, click here for a feature published in Saturday's EDP.

Do you have a Wymondham story? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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