A local World War 1 hero will be honoured in Norwich later this month, marking 100 years since he was awarded the highest military decoration.
Ernest Seaman, of the 2nd Batallion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1918 and his will be the final of three commemorative stones laid to remember local heroes in this way.
Aged just 25, Ernest, known as Ernie, was killed when he and his battalion were involved in the fighting north of the Menin Road near Terhand, Belgium, on the Ypres salient. HM King George V personally presented the Victoria Cross medal to Ernie’s mother at Buckingham Palace on 13 February 1919.
Saturday 29 September 11-11:30am, Norwich War Memorial, St Peters Street
Members of the public are invited to join The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Martin Schmierer, and Archdeacon of Norwich, The Venerable Karen Hutchinson, on Saturday 29 September for a ceremony where the commemorative stone, to be laid in front of Norwich War Memorial, will be unveiled.
Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Martin Schmierer said:
“Everyone is welcome to join us as we remember Ernie, and honour all those who have fought for our country.
“Laying the third and final stone of this kind promises to be a special and poignant occasion for the city, especially in this year marking 100 years since the end of World War 1.”
Guests will arrive on St Peters Street to the rousing sounds of Norwich City Concert Band who will play patriotic music from 10:45am. Following a welcome by the Lord Mayor at 11am, the Archdeacon will give some opening words.
Following a testimonial by a member of Ernie’s family, local historian and author, Neil Storey, will speak about Ernie's life and military career.
Major General William Cubitt will read a citation published in the London Gazette at the time the Victoria Cross was awarded, before the stone is unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant accompanied by members of the Royal Irish Regiment.
The stone will be blessed by the Archdeacon before the ceremony ends with a final prayer and The Last Post bugle call.