Honouring VC hero Harry

As part of a UK Government First World War Centenary campaign, commemorative paving stones will be laid at the birth places of Victoria Cross (VC) recipients of the war. The […]

As part of a UK Government First World War Centenary campaign, commemorative paving stones will be laid at the birth places of Victoria Cross (VC) recipients of the war. The commemorative VC paving stones will be laid in towns across the country between 2014 and 2018. Harry Christian of Pennington and later Egremont was awarded the VC for saving the lives of three soldiers at the Battle of Loos in October 2015.

The citation in the ‘London Gazette’ is as follows:-

“For most conspicuous bravery. He was holding a crater with five or six men in front of our trenches. The enemy commenced a very heavy bombardment of the position with heavy Minenwerfer bombs, forcing a temporary withdrawal. When he found that three men were missing, Private Christian at once returned alone to the crater, and, although bombs were continually bursting actually on the edge of the crater, he found, dug out, and carried one by one into safety all three men, thereby undoubtedly saving their lives. Later he placed himself where he could see the bombs coming, and directed his comrades when and where to seek cover.”

Christian was born in Pennington in 1891, attended school in Ulverston and then worked on local farms. He enlisted in the Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment in 1910, serving in India until he was posted to France in 1915. He joined his family in Egremont in 1919 where he was the landlord at the Park Head Inn, Egremont, Cumberland for 40 years. He died at Thornhill, Egremont, on 2nd September 1974, aged 82.

Pennington Parish Council will host a commemoration on October 18 and as part of that event, the organising group would like to hear from anyone who has memories of Harry Christian or is interested in attending. Please contact Carol Last, Area Engagement Officer Area Support, Environment and Community Services, Cumbria County Council, County Offices Kendal, LA9 4RQ telephone 01539 713180 (Kendal)or email carol.last@cumbria.gov.uk