Leeds & West Yorkshire

Memorial stone for Bradford WW1 Victoria Cross recipient

Samuel Meekosha Image copyright PA Photos
Image caption Bradford paid tribute to Samuel Meekosha who was awarded the highest military honour for his actions near Ypres 100 years ago

A 22-year-old soldier whose bravery on a World War One battlefield saw him awarded a Victoria Cross has been honoured by his home city a century after his gallantry.

Cpl Samuel Meekosha from Bradford was with others in an isolated trench near Ypres that was heavily shelled.

Many were killed or injured and others buried as a result of the bombardment.

A memorial stone has been unveiled to the soldier who dug the buried men out in full view of the enemy.

On Thursday, exactly 100 years to the day that Cpl Meekosha took command during a bombardment by the Yser River near Ypres during WW1, the Lord Mayor of Bradford and the Lord Mayor's chaplain led the ceremony at Norfolk Gardens.

Image copyright Bradford Council
Image caption Samuel was a corporal in the 1st/6th Battalion of the British Army's Territorial Force, The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire) Regiment of the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division

City officials said on 19 November 1915, Cpl Meekosha was with a platoon of about 20 NCOs and men holding an isolated trench.

A council spokesman said: "During a very heavy bombardment, six of the platoon were killed, seven were wounded and the rest were more or less buried.

"As there were no senior NCOs left in action Cpl Meekosha took command, sent for help and in spite of more big shells falling within 20 yards of him, he continued to dig out the wounded and buried men in full view of and in close range of the enemy.

"His outstanding bravery was recognised by being awarded the Victoria Cross."

Image copyright Bradford Lord Mayor
Image caption A memorial stone for Samuel Meekosha was unveiled in Bradford

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