Commemorative stone to be laid for district’s war hero

Henry Reynolds VC MC

Henry Reynolds VC MC

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A First World War hero from the Daventry District who won the Victoria Cross is to be honoured with a commemorative paving stone.

Henry Reynolds from Whilton was awarded the highest military decoration for bravery in 1917.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross during the first world war at 38-years old when he was a T/Captain in the 12th Battalion, The Royal Scots (The Lothian Regiment), British Army.

On 20 September 1917 Captain Reynolds’ company were suffering heavy casualties from enemy machine-guns and a pill-box in Belgium. Under fire he went from shell-hole to shell-hole alone in order to throw a grenade inside the pill-box. As the entrance was blocked he crawled to force a phosphorus grenade in setting the place on fire and killing three. The remainder surrendered with two machine-guns. Afterwards, although wounded, Captain Reynolds captured another objective, with 70 prisoners and two more machine-guns.

Earlier this week Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), announced a project to help local authorities honour Victoria Cross recipients from the First World War in their area by laying a commemorative paving stone.

The paving stones will be paid for by the Government and given to councils across the country in areas where the Victoria Cross recipients were born, starting in August 2014, as a symbol of the centenary commemoration of the Great War.

Captain Reynolds, who was born in Whilton, received the Victoria Cross for showing gallantry under heavy fire in Belgium on September 20, 1917.

In recognition of his bravery, Daventry District Council will arrange a suitable site for the paving stone to be laid in the district in September, 2017.

Councillor Chris Millar, Leader of Daventry District Council, said: “We are delighted to support this project in honour of the brave recipients of the Victoria Cross during the First World War as the centenary of the start of the war fast approaches.

“Captain Henry Reynolds was born in our district and was one of those brave men, and we look forward to laying a commemorative stone to recognise his courage in 2017.”

In the meantime the DCLG has launched a national competition open to everyone to design the paving stones that will be used across the country.

Entries for the paving stones design need to be submitted electronically to VCdesigncomp@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday, October 4, 2013.