Dorset

Cecil Noble: Memorial stone laid for VC hero

Bournemouth War Memorial Image copyright David Dixon
Image caption Stones for Cpl Noble and Sgt Riggs will be unveiled at Bournemouth's war memorial

A soldier from Bournemouth who was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously a century ago is being remembered with a special paving stone.

Cpl Cecil Noble died in a World War One operation to aid the advance of British troops in France in 1915.

The stone was unveiled at Bournemouth's war memorial.

It forms part of a national scheme to commemorate recipients of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery in action.

Born in 1891, Cecil Noble enlisted in The Rifle Brigade at Winchester when he was just 19.

While serving in France, he was fatally shot while helping his company sergeant, Harry Daniels, cut through barbed wire on the front line so British troops could advance.

'National hero'

Although British forces were able to storm through the gap and recapture the German trench, the pair waited all night to be rescued and Cpl Noble died the following day.

Bournemouth Conservative councillor David Kelsey, chairman of the borough's First World War commemoration group, said: "Cpl Cecil Noble was a true local and national hero of his time.

"This stone will serve as a reminder of the sacrifice not only of Cecil Noble, but of all his fellow soldiers in the First World War, for many generations to come."

In Bournemouth, Cpl Noble is already commemorated by Reginald Noble Court, a block of British Legion flats, and by Noble Close in the Wallisdown area of the town.

Almost opposite is Riggs Gardens, named after the town's other Victoria Cross recipient, Frederick Riggs, awarded the medal in 1918.

Both Sgt Riggs and Cpl Noble also have blue plaques in Capstone Road, Malmesbury Park, because at one time they lived in the street - the Nobles at number 175 and the Riggs family at 39.

A stone in commemoration of Sgt Riggs will be unveiled at the war memorial in 2018.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Noble Close and Riggs Gardens are opposite each other in Wallisdown

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