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War hero's medal returns home

PUBLISHED: 05:24 04 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:15 24 February 2010

By Sarah Chambers

A MAN who led a brave charge against the Germans during the First World War was remembered as the Victoria Cross he was awarded was handed back to his college.

By Sarah Chambers

A MAN who led a brave charge against the Germans during the First World War was remembered as the Victoria Cross he was awarded was handed back to his college.

Lieutenant Gordon Flowerdew, a former pupil at Framlingham College, was posthumously awarded the rare honour for his conspicuous bravery at the battle of Moreuil Wood on March 30, 1918.

A ceremony was held yesterday to mark the handover of the Victoria Cross from Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), the mounted Canadian regiment to which he belonged.

The Flowerdew family presented the Victoria Cross to the college where he and his brothers were educated and it was taken on loan to the Strathcona Regimental Museum in 1991.

The medal was handed back by the commanding officer of Lord Strathcona's Horse, Lieutenant-Colonel Cade. He also inspected the college's cadets, who provided an honour guard to mark the occasion.

Other guests included Regimental Sergeants-Major of Lord Strathcona's Horse, Chief Warrant Officer Biener and Colonel Noseworthy, army adviser at the Canadian Defence Liaison Staff in London, as well as members of the Flowerdew family.

Framlingham College headteacher Gwen Randall and chairman of governors Andrew Fane also attended the ceremony.

Cadet Sergeant Mairi McCrone read a citation to a crowd of pupils and guests which detailed the former pupil's act of bravery.

Lt Flowerdew led a charge against enemy soldiers, was seriously wounded and died the following day.

The charge was later commemorated in a painting by another former Framlingham College pupil, Sir Alfred Munnings.

Lt-Col Cade said Lt Flowerdew had been a hero to them and he was pleased and proud to see “how revered he is at his own college”.

He described Lt Flowerdew as a “rare individual” able to make the right decision while chaos reigned about him, and called on pupils to take guidance from his leadership.

Three Flowerdew brothers – Ray, Phillip and David – all great-nephews of the war hero, were among those attending the ceremony.

They paid tribute to their great-uncle, whom the family had known as “a nice fellow” who did not like bloodshed.

They were pleased to see the medal back home again and added: “I think we all wanted to see it returned.”

sarah.chambers@eadt.co.uk


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