War heroes to be honoured 100 years on

Horace Waller.
Horace Waller.

Two courageous war heroes who were awarded the nation’s highest military honour will be commemorated with a Freedom Parade and lasting memorial.

Sergeant John William Ormsby, from Dewsbury, and Private Horace Waller, of Batley Carr, put their lives on the line whilst serving the country during the First World War.

Sgt John William Ormsby.

Sgt John William Ormsby.

They were both awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for their exceptional bravery in April 1917.

On Saturday, April 29, Kirklees Council and army officials will unveil two commemorative paving stones in Dewsbury’s peace garden, to mark the centenary of the men receiving the honour.

Mayor Coun Jim Dodds will take a salute outside the Town Hall before The 3rd Battalion The Rifles exercises its Freedom of the Borough with a parade from 11am.

Coun Dodds said: “It is a great honour to be welcoming The 3rd Battalion The Rifles to the Borough, 71 years after their predecessors The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry were granted the Freedom of the former Boroughs of Dewsbury and Batley. It’s a very welcome opportunity to refresh and cement our relationship with their successors, The Rifles.

“The parade is also a fitting time to mark the brave contribution of two local men 100 years ago. The Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious military decoration awarded for valour ‘in the face of the enemy’ to those serving in British and Commonwealth armed forces. In 2013 the UK Government announced that those recipients of a Victoria Cross for their heroic deeds in the First World War, were to be honoured with commemorative paving stones – and so we will honour our heroes.”

Sgt Ormsby received his VC for his bravery during an operation in France on April 14, 1917. Pte Waller was awarded his for his actions on April 10, 1917 when he was killed in an enemy attack whilst defending a position on the French battlefields.