Victoria Cross stone honour for Limber war hero

Samuel Needhan, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in World War I EMN-190522-071454001
Samuel Needhan, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in World War I EMN-190522-071454001

A Victoria Cross Paving Stone Commemoration next month for a local hero.

Samuel Needham, who was born in Great Limber, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery fighting in the Middle East during the First World War.

Now, more than 100 years after his death, his actions are to be honoured at a special ceremony in St Peter’s Churchyard on June 8.

The Rev Lee Gabel, who will be leading the service, said: “It is a privilege to honour local war hero with the placing of the Victoria Cross memorial stone in St Peter’s churchyard.

“I am looking forward to marking this event in history with the commemoration service in Great Limber.”

Samuel’s actions on September 10, 1918, when his patrol group was attacked in Palestine, saved his patrol from certain destruction.

Tragically, Samuel was killed by accidental gunshot on November 4, 1918 at Kantara in Egypt, where he is buried.

The Armistice that ended the First World War was signed just seven days later.

The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories.

Commemorative stones were produced by the Government for each of the 628 recipients of the Victoria Cross in the UK, to mark the centenary of the start of the outbreak of the First World War.

The stones honour their bravery and provide a lasting legacy of local heroes within communities and enable residents to gain a greater understanding of how their area fitted into the First World War story.

Coun Owen Bierley, Ward Councillor for Caistor and Yarborough, said: “This service is a wonderful opportunity to remember the outstanding bravery of Samuel Needham, and to learn more about the powerful impact of individual actions taken by the people of Great Limber and nearby areas during the First World War.”

For those wishing to attend Samuel Needham’s commemoration service, which starts at 11am, the dress code for the day will be day dress for ladies (hats optional) and lounge suits for men.

Parking is available close to the church and light refreshments will be provided following the service.

People are welcome to lay wreaths at the stone.

For more information, call 01427 676686.