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Bourton war hero to be honoured on memorial
A WAR hero from Bourton who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for conspicuous bravery and leadership during the First World War is being commemorated.
Major General Dudley Johnson, who was born in the village on February 13, 1884, is to be honoured on the village war memorial as part of the Government’s Centenary programme next year.
Councils across the country have been offered the chance to commemorate local recipients of the Victoria Cross by laying paving stones, paid for by the Department for Communities and Local Government, as one of the projects to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War on August 4, 1914.
Major Johnson, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, was awarded the VC for his part in the forcing of the Sambre Canal on November 4, 1918.
An article in the London Gazette on January 6, 1919, said his conduct was “a fine example of great valour, coolness, and intrepidity, which, added to his splendid leadership and offensive spirit that he had inspired his battalion, were entirely responsible for the successful crossing.”
John Cork, chairman of the Royal British Legion Bourton branch, said they were surprised to hear they had a VC holder in the area.
“We didn’t know anything about it,” he said. “It’s nice there’s somebody in the area that has got it. It will be great to commemorate him.
"It’s just an honour to the village that he won it and he will be remembered even more so now. There will be a permanent reminder.”
Major Johnson was a member of the South Wales Borderers and died at Church Crookham, Hampshire, on December 21, 1975.
Bob McNally, spokesman for Cotswold District Council, said: “We have been in contact with the various councillors involved at county, district and parish level and all have been positive about supporting this initiative.”
Councillor Bryan Sumner, Bourton Parish Council chairman, said he was “delighted” with the plans.
Major Johnson is the only person in the Cotswold district to hold the Victoria Cross.
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