Northamptonshire village set to honour bravery of Great War airman

The installation of the plaque in Spratton
The installation of the plaque in Spratton

The daring escapades of an airman posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross during WW1 are to be remembered this month.

The Spratton Remembers the Great War event marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Lieutenant Rhodes- Moorhouse VC, RFC, who was fatally injured while on a low-level raid on a railway junction at Courtrai in Belgium.

RAF Lieutenant William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse VC

RAF Lieutenant William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse VC

Despite terrible injuries he succeeded in flying 35 miles back to base to report on his mission. He died the following day, aged 27. He was the first airman to receive the Victoria Cross.

Taking place on Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26, the event will culminate in a spectacular flypast from a BE2b plane, similar to the one flown by Lt Rhodes-Moorhouse during the war. Villagers will also commemorate the other 132 villagers that served in the conflict.

Enid Jarvis, from the Spratton Local History Society, said: “We are extremely grateful to Daventry & District Housing for their support of our project in tribute to all of the young men from Spratton who served during the Great War between 1914 and 1918. It has helped us to display vintage motor vehicles from WWI and to publicise our events. The funding, together with help from Daventry District Council and Northamptonshire County Council, also enabled us to install a beautiful commemorative paving stone to Lt William Rhodes-Moorhouse.”

DDH has contributed to the Spratton Remembers event through its Community Chest fund. This initiative sees money earmarked for sustainable community projects under the theme of health and wellbeing. Support can also be man power, technical help or advice about finding further investment.

DDH and the DDH Youth Board have been involved in several WWI Centenary Commemorations in the last 12 months, including the creation of a digital history book featuring the stories, photos, artefacts and memories of people that lived in the Daventry district during the conflict.