Victoria Cross joy for Dewsbury war hero’s family

Coun Darren O'Donovan, left, with John Willie Ormsby, centre, and member of the Ormsby family when they visited the headquarters of the Rifles regiment to see the Victora Cross awarded to Sergeant John William Ormsby.
Coun Darren O'Donovan, left, with John Willie Ormsby, centre, and member of the Ormsby family when they visited the headquarters of the Rifles regiment to see the Victora Cross awarded to Sergeant John William Ormsby.

THE family of a war hero fulfilled a lifelong wish to see a Victoria Cross awarded to him.

Sergeant John William Ormsby was given the medal for gallantry in 1917 after serving in France during World War I.

Sgt Ormsby had previously served in the Boer War and fought with the 2nd Batallion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

His grandson, John Willie Ormsby, had always wanted to see the Cross but it has not been on display for more than 30 years.

A replica is on show at the KOYLI regimental museum in Doncaster but the real medal is under lock and key at the headquarters of the Rifles regiment in Pontefract.

When they heard that Mr Ormsby wanted to see the medal, Major Alan Haworth from the Rifles and Coun Darren O’Donovan arranged for him and his family to visit the Pontefract headquarters.

Mr Ormsby, of Dewsbury, said: “It was great for members of the family to see and touch the famous medal. I know that the replica is on display but it was important to the family to see the real thing.

“We are all rightly proud of my grandfather and what he achieved. The medal brings to life many memories of a very special man.”

Coun O’Donovan (Lab, Dews West) said: “It was a privilege to help the family make the reunion happen. On a personal note, I enjoyed the visit and learnt a lot about a local hero.”